Trump Trade War - US Senate demands a say

15 July, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Essie Rivera
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It directs a congressional committee that's reconciling separate spending bills to include language giving Congress a role when such tariffs are put in place.

Lawmakers blasted witness Manisha Singh, assistant secretary of state for business and economic affairs, for what they say is the administration's failure to spell out a trade strategy and what they called unwarranted attacks on USA allies.

Those negotiators are free to ignore the Senate's guidance, and the role that Congress would play would have to be worked out down the road.

The Senate voted resoundingly Wednesday to seek a congressional role in some of President Donald Trump's tariff decisions, a symbolic rebuke reflecting growing GOP alarm over the president's trade war.

The vote underscored the tension between Trump's trade policies and many Republicans in Congress, particularly those representing agricultural states, who are concerned the administration doesn't have a strategy to exit the global tit-for-tat raising of tariffs.

"It's not just an abuse of power ... it's also, I know, offensive to the Canadian people", Corker told the National Post later about the steel tariffs.

For the past several weeks, Senator Jeff Flake has been threatening to block President Trump's circuit court nominees unless the Senate votes on legislation that would restrict the President's ability to impose tariffs.

Prompting criticism from many of his fellow Republicans and business groups as well as Democrats, Trump has imposed levies on imports of steel and aluminum from close allies including Canada, Mexico and Europe and is considering some on automobiles and auto parts.

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The Senate overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming US support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Tuesday.

Several senators said Trump is making it hard to work with allies to counter China.

Lawmakers went on record Wednesday to express their frustration with the Trump administration's growing use of tariffs as the Senate passed a nonbinding resolution created to give Congress more say about trade penalties imposed in the name of national security.

"Today, the Senate issued a clear rebuke of this administration's trade policy", said Flake.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento said Congress "should reinstate some of the constitutional trade authority it long ago delegated" to the president.

"I don't think this administration understands how fortunate we are to have the neighbours we have", he said.

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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