Mar 8, 2018

Trump's tariffs met with scathing responses from Capitol Hill

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images

President Trump signed two proclamations to impose heightened steel and aluminum tariffs, which will go into effect in two weeks. Lawmakers immediately reacted to the signing; Speaker Paul Ryan said he disagreed with the tariffs, while Sen. Joe Manchin praised them.

Why it matters: While the tariffs are still going to get pushback, they aren't as bad as originally believed. However, the added costs could spark international backlash.

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan: "I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences...We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law."
  • Sen. Jeff Flake: "These so-called ‘flexible tariffs’ are a marriage of two lethal poisons to economic growth – protectionism and uncertainty. Trade wars are not won, they are only lost...I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs."
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: "Simply put: This is a tax hike on American manufacturers, workers & consumers. Slapping aluminum and steel imports with tariffs of this magnitude is misguided..I will continue to work with the administration to revisit this decision."
  • Sen. Dick Durbin: "The sweeping tariffs announced today are like dropping a bomb on a flea. Launching an all-out trade war will alienate the allies we need to actually solve the problem...and could have unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse: “We’re on the verge of a painful and stupid trade war, and that’s bad. This isn't just bad for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who need to buy a new tractor, it’s also bad for the moms and dads who will lose their manufacturing jobs because fewer people can buy a more expensive product. Temporary exceptions for Canada and Mexico are encouraging but bad policy is still bad policy, and these constant NAFTA threats are nuts.”
  • Sen. Joe Manchin: “People have had unfettered access for a long long time that are able to come here on very low if any types of tariffs, but yet they still have it restricted for us to go. That’s just not right...I'm glad we are finally standing up for ourselves, and I applaud President Trump’s leadership and willingness to hold places like China accountable for the damage they’ve done to our economy."

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Cuomo: Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked people"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference Sunday that President Trump's unexpected Saturday announcement of a possible "short-term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut to curb the spread of the coronavirus "really panicked people."

Why it matters: Though Trump ruled out the mandatory quarantine later that day, Cuomo said people still called "all night long" asking about the comments and many likely fled the New York area — possibly spreading the virus further.