House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday blasted the Trump administration’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico, and Canada, calling instead on the U.S. to work with allies to “address the unfair trading practices of countries like China.”
“I disagree with this decision,” the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement.
“Instead of addressing the real problems in the international trade of these products, today’s action targets America’s allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of countries like China.”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs, 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, would take effect Friday.
The administration is following through on a pledge in March by President Trump to impose the tariffs after having earlier granted exemptions to various nations to try to buy time for negotiations.
Trump said the duties were necessary to protect the U.S. from unfair competition and thereby bolster national security.
The administration’s move threatens to inflate prices for U.S. consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors across the globe.
“There are better ways to help American workers and consumers,” Ryan said. “I intend to keep working with the president on those better options.”
Still, Trump later tweeted about the new tariffs:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018