GOP-Trump trade fight boils over with threat to cars

Source: Baltimore Sun | May 27, 2018 | Jordain Carney and Vicki Needham

President Trump and congressional Republicans are barreling toward a showdown over auto tariffs, just the latest conflict between the president and his party on trade.

Trump has asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to investigate whether hefty tariffs, possibly as high as 25 percent, can be levied against auto imports for national security reasons.

The mere suggestion of the huge tariffs sparked an immediate backlash on Capitol Hill, as well as GOP-friendly business groups and key trading partners already unnerved by Trump on trade.

GOP lawmakers warn the tariffs could roil the economy months before a midterm election where they are fighting to maintain control of Congress.

“I hope we can avoid getting into any kind of tariff situation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News. “I think all of us are hoping that all of this back and forth discussion about trade doesn’t end up leading into the implementation of tariffs or some larger trade war.”

Some senators used a closed-door lunch this week with Vice President Pence to complain about the saber-rattling.

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