US President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on some imports is facing increasing opposition from lawmakers in the Republican Party.
A group of 107 Republican congressmen wrote a letter to Trump warning him about the economic consequences of the tariffs.
Ignoring warnings from his fellow party members against any moves that would ignite a possible trade war, Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that introduces 25-percent and 10-percent tariffs on steel and aluminum shipments bound for America.
Senator Orrin Hatch, one of Trump’s main supporters within the party, said he was “disappointed” by the new tariffs, stating that they would go against the massive tax bill Republicans announced several weeks ago.
“I think there’s a good chance that we will nullify them, at least if I have my way. … I generally support the president on just about everything but I think he’s been misled,” said the Republican from Utah. “I’m disappointed because we just passed a tax bill and this kind of flies in the face of that.”
Senator Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is set to retire after 2018, said he wants to bring legislation that would nullify the tariffs, arguing that the lawmakers “cannot be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster.”
Meanwhile, Libertarian-leaning Republican Senator Mike Lee from Utah has introduced legislation that, if passed, will give Congress oversight over tariffs and any other trade decisions by the Trump administration.
Senator John Cornyn, another top GOP Trump supporter, said Trump wanted to deliver on his anti-Washington campaign promises.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump pledged to crack down on unfair practices by America’s trading partners.
Upon announcing the tariffs, Trump said the American steel and aluminum industry had been “ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices.”
While many Republicans, including House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan, are disappointed with the move, some are still optimistic about working with Trump.
“We need one another, and we’ve accomplished a lot together,” Representative Tom Cole, told The Hill. “We’ve got to be part of a team with the president, [rather] than at odds with him.”