Speaker Paul Ryan Urges Trump to Drop Tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is raising concerns that President Donald Trump’s plan to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could start a trade war. The speaker is “extremely worried about the consequences” and is urging the White House “to not advance with this plan,” according to a statement issued by his office.

Ryan notes through his spokeswoman that the new tax overhaul “has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”

The statement from the top Republican in the House comes as the Trump administration is arguing that the tariffs are needed to preserve American steel and aluminum and warning that North American neighbors Canada and Mexico will not get any relief unless they agree to a fair trade deal.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee are circulating a letter opposing President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’ll boost tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Committee spokeswoman Lauren Aronson says the letter expresses lawmakers’ concerns about “the prospect of broad, global tariffs” on the two materials. Aronson says any tariffs should be aimed at “unfairly traded products.”

The letter doesn’t mention any countries as potential targets.

The letter says the administration and Congress should pursue trade policies that build off the economic momentum from the GOP-approved tax cuts and shouldn’t disrupt trade.

The letter was drafted by committee chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Washington state’s Dave Reichert, who heads the panel’s trade subcommittee.

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