6/5/2019

Republican Party Backlash Grows Over Trump’s Mexico Tariff

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Several Republican senators warned the White House yesterday that President Donald Trump can expect diminished support at best for his plan to launch a 5% import tax on Monday for goods from Mexico.

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Several Republican senators warned the White House yesterday that President Donald Trump can expect diminished support at best for his plan to launch a 5% import tax on Monday for goods from Mexico.

Trump justifies the tariff under the same national emergency declaration he made in February about illegal immigration. He is using that Senate-approved step to divert federal funds to pay for building a barrier along the Mexican border.

But Republican senators say Trump’s new levy won’t garner comparable backing. “Senate Republicans are tariff weary,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N. Dakota) tells reporters.

Trump has said Congress would be “foolish” to challenge his desire to impose the tariff. He is using the tax, which would increase by five points per month through October, to force Mexico to control the surge of migrants across its border with the U.S.

“A 5% tariff isn’t going to break the bank,” says Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “A 25% tariff is a different story.”