With tariffs, Trump reopens GOP split that had healed with tax reform

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Cornyn is among the Republicans who've bucked the president on the tariffs, warning that they risk undermining strong US economic growth and undercutting the benefits of the Republican tax cut legislation passed previous year.

Chalk the latest split up to tariffs.

Both houses of Congress have Republican majorities.

Schumer and others said Trump should focus on the punitive trade levies on China and other global competitors who have flooded the US market with cheap steel and aluminum, undercutting American manufacturers of those products. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other GOP leaders had spent the last few days furiously lobbying Trump to scale back the tariffs, an effort that had limited effect. He went after Maine Senator Susan Collins on health care.

But it appeared that the Republicans finally found their groove when it came to backing a tax reform bill.

The tariffs will be made official in the next two weeks, White House officials said.

"We have a conducive tax and regulatory-the economy looks good".

Despite widespread condemnation from House Republicans, none have introduced measures to counter Trump's action.

Two dozen conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the National Taxpayers Union, urged Trump to reconsider, writing in a letter that the tariffs would be "a tax on the middle class with everything from cars to baseball bats to even beer".

Regarding the third point, just consider the language coming from Republican leaders McConnell and Ryan. McConnell reiterated this week that he believes free trade has helped his home state of Kentucky.

"Twenty-five per cent on steel, and the 10 per cent on aluminum, no country exclusions - firm line in the sand", said Navarro, speaking on Fox and Friends. "Simply put: This is a tax hike on American manufacturers, workers and consumers", Hatch said.

"What we can't do in the body politic is whitewash the past or be purely tribal in our thinking, wherein, let's reverse the shoes, if it was a Democratic president and hush money had been paid in the campaign, would there be a series of hearings going on?" In both cases, he backtracked before opposition mounted. Trump ultimately backed down slightly from what were initially described as broad-reaching, indiscriminate tariffs, exempting Canada and Mexico as well as creating a pathway to exemption for other nations.

They also could challenge the law itself, claiming Congress delegated to the president too much of its constitutional authority to regulate foreign trade when it passed Section 232, Bhala said, or try to identify defects in the process that Trump and his Commerce Department used in bringing the tariffs forward.

Then it will be every candidate for himself.

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