Trump's 25 Percent Steel Tariff Puts GOP Lawmakers, Markets on Edge
WASHINGTON -- Republicans responded with boos, and the stock market responded with a dump, to President Trump's announcement today that he would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, "and it will be for a long period of time."
Trump threw out the numbers at the end of a White House meeting with representatives from the steel and aluminum industries.
"Pretty much all of you will immediately be expanding if we give you that level playing field, if we give you that help. And you're going to hire more workers, and your workers are going to be very happy," Trump said. "...So we'll probably see you sometime next week. We'll be signing it in. And you will have protection for the first time in a long while, and you're going to regrow your industries. That's all I'm asking. You have to regrow your industries."
"It's being written now," Trump told reporters after confirming the tariff percentages.
The Dow dropped 420 points after Trump's announcement; the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each declined 1.3 percent.
"The speaker is hoping the president will consider the unintended consequences of this idea and look at other approaches before moving forward," Paul Ryan's spokesman Doug Andres said in a statement
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) slammed the proposed tariffs as "a huge job-killing tax hike on American consumers."
"While I am sympathetic to the issues facing domestic steel manufacturers, there must be a better way to address the steel industries concerns, and I hope Congress and the executive branch can identify an alternative solution before these tariffs are finalized next week," Lee said.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) noted in a statement that American manufacturing "is expanding at its fastest pace since 2004, but this proposed tax would slam the brakes on the pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda that Congress and the president have been fighting for."
"Georgia has made great strides in attracting manufacturing jobs and building our workforce to meet that new demand,” said Isakson. “These tariffs on aluminum and steel are not only a new tax on American consumers, but also an impediment to economic growth. It is my hope that the administration will work to address unfair trade policies and overcapacity by certain global actors that have plagued these industries, but with a targeted approach that does not harm American workers and consumers.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the administration wouldn't discuss the tariffs until details were finalized.
"The president is concerned about the men and women of this country who have been forgotten about, the industries that our country was founded and built on. And this shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody," Sanders said. "This is something, frankly, the president has been talking about for decades, certainly something he talked about regularly on the campaign trail, and something that he's delivering on, making that clear today. And those details and that actual announcement and signing will take place sometime next week."