Kicking things up a notch this morning, President Trump decided to casually threaten Canada and Mexico that tariffs on steel and aluminum would stay in place unless they caved in on NAFTA negotiations
We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
Apparently even Republicans are getting fed up with this idiocy:
Congressional Republicans are maneuvering to stop President Trump from levying harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, arguing the move runs counter to the core of their economic agenda and could even cause political problems heading into the 2018 midterms.
“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement Monday….Members of the House Ways and Means Committee were also circulating a letter arguing against the tariffs, and high-ranking Senate Republicans have voiced their opposition….But it’s difficult to predict how far Republicans would go to stand up to Trump.
Ah yes, how far will Republicans go to stand up to Trump? Will they send him a stern letter? Or, being Congress and all, will they pass legislation removing Trump’s authority to unilaterally levy new tariffs? Congress mostly leaves tariffs up to presidents, but as the Washington Post delicately puts it, “Congressional leaders believe that approach has worked well — until now.”
Still, if you go to war with Trump, you have to expect you’re going to get a real war. Trump could easily blow up so badly that he’d decide to engage in a scorched-earth campaign against the traitors in the Republican Party, leading to a tidal wave of losses in the November midterms unprecedented in human history. I wouldn’t put it past him. So I guess there’s that for Paul Ryan to think about.