Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed his concern on Monday regarding President Donald Trump’s insistence to implement stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Shortly after that, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he was not going to back down on tariffs, even though the president again signaled that he may drop tariffs for Canada and Mexico if they can renegotiate a new NAFTA deal with the U.S. Trump also blamed China for the problems the U.S. faces on trade – something he repeatedly claimed during his campaign.
“No, we’re not backing down,” the president said during an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We had a very bad deal with Mexico, we had a very bad deal with NAFTA.”
Speaker Ryan is trying to persuade the Trump administration not to impose the tariffs which President Trump announced last Thursday.
“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” said AshLee Strong, Ryan’s spokeswoman. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”
Later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that they don’t have to agree on everything with Ryan, echoing Trump’s earlier insistence on his hard line. The president said he is “100 percent” backing the tariffs, “but it could be a part of NAFTA.”
According to CNBC, stocks rose Monday afternoon as traders saw an easing in concerns over a potential trade war. However, action may be taken if the president follows through on his plan, a Republican source said.