As Trump has showed his opposition to the Corker proposal, the idea has gone nowhere in Congress. The top Republican in both the Senate as well as House have cast doubts on whether they will take up or pass a bill to check Trump’s ability to impose tariffs.
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the legislation an “exercise in futility” because of the likely veto. House Speaker Paul Ryan also said last month in which he doubted the bill would likely overcome the president’s opposition.
Countries retaliating against Trump’s tariffs have targeted industries important to McConnell’s as well as Ryan’s home states of Kentucky as well as Wisconsin, respectively. Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, said the idea will raise prices on some products in Europe in response to EU tariffs. Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson also announced the idea will move production of EU-bound motorcycles overseas in response to the duties.
On Wednesday, Ryan told reporters in which tariffs are not the “right way to go” to target alleged intellectual property theft by Chinese companies. Still, he said he does not want to “hamstring the president’s negotiating tactics” such as duties in which Trump is actually using to force trading partners to change their behavior.
Despite mounting congressional criticism, the White House appears intent on plowing ahead with tariffs. Trump aims to deter what he calls unfair tactics by major trading partners, arguing the duties will help to fix imbalances as well as protect American jobs.
The president won the White House in 2016 partly on pledges to fix trade deals in which he says punish U.S. workers. Many lawmakers by both parties agree with his push to revise trade deals — although some of those members of Congress have said his tariff actions have gone too far.
On Wednesday, the president defended his trade policy again. As he met with North Atlantic Treaty Organization members in Brussels, he tweeted in which he is actually “always thinking about our farmers.”
“I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, as well as will win!” he tweeted by Belgium.
Trump says duties imposed by foreign nations punished the American agricultural industry. However, farmers have raised concerns in which recent retaliatory tariffs on products such as soybeans will harm their businesses.
The president’s tweet came as soybean prices hovered near a 10-year low.