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Flake Takes on Trump's Tariffs

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Thursday he plans to introduce legislation that would undo the tariffs President Trump announced on steel and aluminum imports. 

"I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy," Flake said in a statement.

A 25 percent tax will be imposed on steel imports while a 10 percent tax will be imposed on aluminum imports. Canada and Mexico have been exempted from the tariffs as broader trade deals are being hammered out, Trump said.

“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. Congress cannot be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster," Flake’s statement continued.

While many Republicans opposed Trump’s tariff plan, what they can do about it in Congress is uncertain. 

Legislation that aims to undo the new policy would need two-thirds in both the House and Senate to override a veto from Trump. 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) also said he will work to make sure the tariffs are never imposed.

“The tariffs announced by the president today impose a tax hike on the American people—one that will harm both workers and consumers,” he said in a statement. “While I am sympathetic to the issues facing domestic steel manufacturers, there are better ways to address the steel industry’s concerns. In the meantime, I will work with my colleagues to use Congress’s Article I power to make sure these tax hikes are never enforced.”

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