By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Many Republican leaders have expressed concerns about President Donald Trump decision to impose tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect domestic producers from what the president fells is unfair trade practices.
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, warned on social media that the new proposed tariffs could roll back much of the progress manufacturing has made and increase production costs.
“Significant tax and regulatory reforms by the President and Congress, combined with tremendous reductions in U.S. energy costs, have made America’s economy competitive again and have put U.S. manufacturing in the best position globally in years,” Palmer said. “While I understand President Trump’s desire to protect U.S. businesses, I believe the new proposed broad-based tariffs could roll back much of the progress manufacturing has made and increase product costs. Tariffs, like taxes, are ultimately borne by American consumers. I hope President Trump will consider that there are other ways to address the rogue trade practices of countries like China.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has also expressed skepticism about the president’s decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences,” Speaker Ryan said in a statement. “I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law. There are unquestionably bad trade practices by nations like China, but the better approach is targeted enforcement against those practices. Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law.”
“A Nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad,” Trump said.
The Trump Administration said in a release that protecting our steel and aluminum industries from unfair trade practices is important to our national security. They claim that profitable and viable domestic aluminum and steel industries are important to our national security so that the United States can meet demand for steel and aluminum for national defense and critical industries with domestic sources.
The United States is the world’s largest importer of steel, importing nearly four times as much as it exports.
The United States imported five times as much primary aluminum as it produced in 2016.
Aluminum is used in a range of ground weapons, ships, and aircraft.
Foreign governments are threatening to retaliate against other American products, prompting fears of a possible trade war.
Palmer represents Alabama’s 6th Congressional District.