Sen. Jeff Flake introduces legislation to nullify Trump’s plan to raise tariffs

Mar 12, 2018, 3:36 PM

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake introduced legislation Monday that would nullify President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States.

In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Flake upheld his promise to immediately nullify “this very unfortunate exercise in protectionism” which he first promised after the so-called “ill-conceived” tariffs were first announced last week.

“If implemented, these tariffs will do what tariffs have always done: Lead to job losses and will stymie economic growth,” Flake argued.

“What’s worse [is] that the president’s attempt at flexibility in the form of poorly defined exemptions only serves to harm the economy further by creating uncertainty. Tariffs are bad enough on their own. Tariffs married with uncertainty are even worse.”

Flake continued, claiming Trump would lessen or strengthen tariffs on certain countries if their leaders would do something that the president agrees or disagrees with.

“That simply doesn’t work if you’re trying to achieve economic growth and convince countries to enter into trade partnerships with you, particularly when you’re dealing with our allies. That’s no way to treat your allies,” Flake said.

“It’s often easier to point to a shuttered factory and blame trade or immigration or some other convenient scapegoat, other than what is usually the case — it’s modernization or mechanization or something that has meant that we have increased productivity, or simply the best allocation of capital in order to facilitate trade.”

The junior senator from Arizona said the United States needs to “aggressively negotiate” both bilateral and multilateral trade deals “in order to catch up.

“If we fail to do this and we continue to withdraw from the global marketplace, we’re going to be left far behind,” Flake said, pointing to the Trans-Pacific Partnership as an example.

Flake said the United States represents 20 percent of the world’s economic output and just 5 percent of the world’s population.

“If we don’t trade, we don’t grow. You can be pro-growth, you can be pro-tariff, but you can’t be both.”

Flake closed his speech by calling on those who have “reservations about these tariffs” and those who have “expressed admiration for free trade or supply-side economics” to support his bill.

“We in Congress cannot be complicit as this administration courts economic disaster. I urge my colleagues to join me in exercising our constitutional oversight to invalidate these irresponsible tariffs.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Colleen Nussnaumer (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Peoria woman who went missing overnight

PHOENIX – A Silver Alert was issued Thursday for a missing West Valley woman, authorities said. Colleen Nussnaumer, 85, was last seen in the area of 71st Avenue and Thunderbird Road in Peoria around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Nussnaumer most likely is driving a black four-door 2013 Cadillac CTS bearing Arizona license plate KWS96, the Peoria […]
7 hours ago
Gary Moddrell (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Peoria man with memory problems

A Silver Alert was issued for a Peoria man who has been missing since Tuesday, authorities said.
7 hours ago
Angela Pike watches her fourth grade students at Lakewood Elementary School in Cecilia, Ky., as the...
Griselda Zetino

Where are the teachers? A look at Arizona’s struggle to fill positions

Elementary teachers are some of the hardest jobs to fill for schools in Arizona, according to a recent survey.
7 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Hundreds of weapons seized since start of Phoenix crackdown on gun crime

More than 700 firearms have been taken out of the wrong hands since Phoenix implemented its Operation Gun Crime Crackdown last month, the city said Wednesday.
7 hours ago
A doctor shows a monkeypox sore on a patient´s foot at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital in Lima, Peru...

Arizona health department launches monkeypox resource page

Arizona health officials launched a monkeypox web page with information and resources to help the community better understand the outbreak.
7 hours ago
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Mythical Games)...
Danny Shapiro

The Chainsmokers to headline final night of Birds Nest at 2023 WM Phoenix Open

The Chainsmokers will headline the fourth and final night of the concert series at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open.
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Sen. Jeff Flake introduces legislation to nullify Trump’s plan to raise tariffs