President Trump has a notable new critic of his plan to impose big tariffs on steel and aluminum: House Speaker Paul Ryan. “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” says a spokesperson for Ryan. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.” In fact, congressional GOP leaders have not ruled out the idea of taking some kind of legislative action to block any such tariffs, assuming Trump makes them official as promised in the coming week or two, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Members of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee also oppose the tariffs, as do various Senate Republicans, notes the Washington Post. Trump, for his part, sounded unfazed by the pushback. "No, we're not backing down," Trump said in the Oval Office, while with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, per the AP. Earlier Monday, Trump said Mexico and Canada might be able to avoid the tariffs, but only if they agreed to better terms on NAFTA. Trump reaffirmed the point with reporters. "We've had a very bad deal with Mexico, we've had a very bad deal with Canada—it's called NAFTA," Trump said.
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