Donald Trump can get tough on America’s top trade partners on Day 1 of his presidency.
Trump has threatened tariffs on goods coming from Mexico or China, and he doesn’t need approval from Congress to do it.
On the eve of his presidency, his own party is trying to reel in those powers.
Republican Senator Mike Lee announced a new bill Thursday that would require Trump to go through Congress to use tariffs or to withdraw from free trade deals like NAFTA, the agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Lee’s bill, which is slated to be introduced Friday, is one of the most concrete signs of GOP opposition to Trump’s trade agenda. Lee warns that Trump’s threats to use tariffs and tear up trade deals would hurt the U.S. economy.
Raising tariffs “would wreak havoc on many small and midsize manufacturers in my home state of Utah and across the country that rely on imports and globally connected supply chains,” Lee said.
Indeed, a new study from the Center for Automotive Research finds that withdrawal from NAFTA and a 35% tariff would be disastrous for the U.S. auto industry, leading car prices to spike and at least 31,000 U.S. auto manufacturing jobs to be lost.
Lee’s bill does not currently have any co-sponsors.
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