Republicans are trying to avert their next potentially explosive conflict with President Donald Trump
In a number of private meetings and talks with Trump over the past few months, the Senate Republicans have not claimed to impose a new tax rate on foreign car manufacturers – fear that they might interfere with Trump-backed states and put the economy into a recession before the 2020 election.
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But Trump does not keep the warnings so far.
Ba g closed d oSS, GOP senators consistently push back on Trump when he brings up existing tariffs on steel and aluminum or potential tariffs on automakers, according to Republican senators. But Trump does not go back from his position: he says that the threat of tariffs becomes aware of trading partners – like China – which must allow more imports of American products.
"The president likes tariffs as a threat. I hope he understands that the autotariff damages the auto-workers" in the Midwest and Southeastern states. "And I know he cares a lot about them. So I'm hoping he will not do that, "said beds Lamar Alexander in Tennessee, where Nissan and Volkswagen have plants. But he added, "If I were Japan and Europe, I wouldn't relax."
Whether GOP senators can lead another tax rate ultimately lies with the president's whims. Administration officials have tried to reassure concerned Republicans that the president has paused as he considers a trade report that will allow him to declare tariffs on the basis of national security.
But Republican senators said in interviews on Wednesday that they have huge concerns that Trump might continue with it anyway. This is partly because Trump can once again make a one-sided decision. "He's conflicting to some extent with his agencies," said Georgia's beds Johnny Isakson, home of a Kia plant.
"To suggest that Volkswagen is a national security threat to the United States is not true, and we should not do that. It would be very bad for our economy and very bad for our consumers," said Senator Pat Toomey (R- Pa., Among the most eager customs opponents.
Trump "thinks he's trying to improve the overall trading culture," said South Carolina's Tim Scott, who has a massive BMW plant. "I have tried to talk to him about the ricochet effect and the negative impact [of tariffs]. I think BMW sells about 80,000 cars in China. Having these vehicles built in China cannot be good for us."  But the Senate GOP comes during the debate from a weak position, with limited statutory firepower at their disposal and Democrats far less concerned about tariffs. So the Republicans rely on a persuasion campaign aimed at letting Trump know that he could alienate his voting bases in a way that could interfere with the manufacturing boom in the south and hit long plants throughout the United States. The domestic car companies are also pushing the president not to move forward with foreign auto rates, according to a Republican senator who has raised the problem repeatedly with Trump.
Senate of Finance Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is moving forward with an effort to allow Congress to charge more tariffs, but to be allowed, Trump must sign it or Republicans should cough veto patience majorities – an unlikely scenario with Trump's dominance of GOP.
Republicans' best hope is that Trump really uses the threat of tariffs to show China, he means business and to drive a harder deal with Europe and Japan. But they recognize that Trump could eventually ignore them.
"People will be happy if there is an agreement and it actually opens up some markets. If there is no agreement and the tariffs get worse, I am worried that you could get a recession," says late Rand Rand ( R-Ky.), A close Trump ally who has a Toyota facility in the home as well as domestic plants. "I hope persuasion will work instead of waiting for a financial problem."
Trump weighs the new rates After receiving a report from the Commerce Department last month, giving him the legal justification to move on, Trump has 90 days after the report was submitted to make a decision.
But the conflict has been in use for weeks. At the end of February, trade officials briefed Senate finance and housewives and funds on assistants. "It was described as the worst, most tense meeting they had attended with members of the administration," an industry source said.  The meeting asked a bipartisan group of senators to avert a letter to Minister Wilbur Ross with a list of questions they wanted the answer in 10 days. This meant how the department that led the investigation defined national security for the purpose of importing cars.
But the most substantial recall has come from lawmakers themselves. Tennessee Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Alexander raised concerns about the tariffs at a White House meeting two weeks ago, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
"He is very good at listening to us. I do not think I have persuaded him much about tariffs so far," Alexander said. "What I said to him:" I will support the North American agreement. But it will be much easier to pass and better pass without the tariffs. "
The constant threat of auto tariffs is, in fact, clear of Trump's market terminal trade – the new US-Mexico-Canada agreement to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA agreement. But Trump sees things differently: a point of leverage to get foreign trading partners to offer concessions in forthcoming negotiations.
Trump administration also wants to negotiate new trade agreements with the EU and Japan, both of which export a significant number of cars to US Trump agreed with EU political leaders and Japan that the tax burden would be withdrawn as long as there were negotiations.
"We should actually operate under the non-escalation agreement. And therefore, we should not see tariffs on European cars, "Toomey said.
It is still unclear whether the threat works. The European Union has refused to negotiate agriculture on potential talks with the United States, which Washington requires. that it would go away from the table and claim if the president is moving forward with the tariffs, Trump has also repeatedly designated Germany in private talks with senators, according to one participant.
Although used only as a negotiating strategy, the Republican legislatures the alarm that the constant threat of landing charges puts a bad precedent for future negotiations.
"Most of our members are against auto tariffs and they have made it clear to the president," beds said John Thune from South Dakota, the Republican Whip
Republicans have reviewed this before on the steel and aluminum tariffs, some calling on Senate Majority Leader Mit ch McConnell (R-Ky.) To bring the law on the floor so they could block the tariffs. But McConnell never did, partly because Trump would never sign it, and also because it would reveal another intra-partition.
Grassley is preparing to move the law that would complain back to Senate GOP. But he also knows that it may never come to the President's desk. So, even though he is pushing, he also takes a Zen-like approach to the Mercury president.
"I don't think so," Grassley said when asked if Trump would go ahead with the new tariffs. "19659041] This article tagged below: