Senate will not 'poke the bear' Trump by passing tariff measure: lawmaker

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bob Corker accused his fellow Republicans of being afraid to stand up to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as his legislation to block the president's ability to impose tariffs on national security grounds hit a roadblock in Congress.

"'We might poke the bear' is the language I have been hearing in the hallways," Corker said in an emotional Senate speech. "The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we're going to do everything we can to block it."

Corker and other lawmakers - Democrats as well as some of Trump's fellow Republicans - introduced the measure last week after the president's recent announcement that he was considering tariffs on automobiles, after imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, citing national security concerns.

Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to negotiate better trade deals to bring back U.S. manufacturing jobs, has pursued aggressive measures against trading partners from China to Canada, Mexico and U.S. allies in Europe.

This has worried some lawmakers who strongly back principles of free trade, warning that Trump could trigger a trade war that would destabilize the economy and ultimately hurt American workers.

Corker's amendment would have pared back Trump's authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs on national security grounds without obtaining Congress' consent.

Its backers had hoped for a Senate vote as soon as this week by including the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, or NDAA, a sweeping defense policy bill that Congress passes every year.

But Senator James Inhofe, the Republican who is managing debate on the defense bill, blocked the amendment as inappropriate for the legislation, preventing a vote.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Must Read

Home Depot rides housing boom to record sales, profit

Aug 16, 2016

Home Depot posted record sales and earnings during its second quarter and raised its profit expectations for the year as housing market continues to warm up

Conventional tax proposals in an unconventional US campaign

Aug 17, 2016

In this unconventional campaign season, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have produced two conventional tax plans that mostly track their parties' long-standing views

Hong Kong airline Cathay's 1H profit tumbles 82 percent

Aug 17, 2016

Cathay Pacific Airways' profit tumbled in the first half of the year as economic weakness in China and other important markets cut passenger demand while it faced cutthroat competition from rivals

Search

Obserworld delivers the most accurate and up-to-date world news for the global audience with a thorough research and in-depth interviews. Discover the world through Obserworld.

Contact us: sales[at]obserworld.com