Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to be growing increasingly worried about the effects of President Donald Trump’s trade war and are allegedly weighing their options regarding possible legislative action to overrule his latest decision to hit Mexico with 5% tariffs, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Bloomberg reports that Senate Republicans are considering reviving a resolution of disapproval over Trump’s national emergency declaration that the President uses as justification for the duties, preventing him at the same time form allocating billions of dollars into the building of his promised border wall without approval from Congress.
A similar resolution was passed several months ago, but Trump vetoed it and Congress failed to get the needed votes to override it.
However, this time congressional Republicans are concerned that imposing tariffs on Mexico would almost certainly lead to an economic fallout and their reasoning for a resolution to rebuke President Trump is considerably different.
Trump recently threatened Mexico that he would slap 5% tariffs on its imports, starting from June 10, should the country fail to curb illegal immigration to the U.S., saying that the tariffs could go up to 25% by October if no action is taken by then.
The only course of action for the GOP now, if they want to stop the President from imposing the duties, is for them to demonstrate strong support for the resolution of disapproval.
Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley has also indicated that if the levies take effect, he would not start consideration of the revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement (USMCA), a deal that is to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A similar threat issued by the Republican chairman earlier this year proved successful in convincing the administration to forgo tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada.
“It’s the same trouble that we had with the aluminum and steel tariffs. They have to come off before we can take it up here,” he said of the USMCA.
Another Republican in the Senate, John Thune, echoed comments that Congress could pass such a resolution if the President’s administration hiked up tariffs on all Mexican imports to 25%.
“I suspect Congress is going to want to be heard from, for sure. We have a lot of our members who don’t like where this is headed, about what it means for the economy generally and don’t see it as a path to solve immigration issues,” he stressed.
Other Republicans voiced similar sentiments, suggesting they could support a legislative rebellion against the President to avoid the severe economic effects the tariffs could result in.