WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement in response to the president’s announcement on steel and aluminum tariffs:
“Kansas is an export state, and our ability to make a living is directly tied to our ability to sell the products we grow and manufacture to people around the world. These tariffs will harm auto, aerospace and other manufacturers in Kansas by risking retaliation against our exports, including food and agricultural products. I would strongly urge the president to reconsider the impact these tariffs will have on future ag exports, the five million manufacturing and related jobs that use steel or aluminum in addition to the added costs to consumers and American manufacturers who will pay higher prices for inputs, goods and services.
“I am pleased Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs announced today. However, when I met with ambassadors to Canada and Mexico this week I reiterated my concern that holding the threat of tariffs over the heads of our North American allies will only escalate trade tensions at time when we ought to be focused on reaching an agreement on a modernized NAFTA – the outcome of which couldn’t be more important to Kansas.”
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after President Donald Trump announced his decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“I understand President Trump’s desire to put an end to unfair trade practices, but the best way to accomplish this goal is through targeted policies rather than blanket tariffs,” Smith said. “While I appreciate the President listening to our case for exempting Canada and Mexico, these tariffs should be further narrowed in order to reduce unintended consequences.
“Due to the success of our ag producers, this industry is often the first to be targeted with retaliatory measures by other countries. I have been steadfast in advocating against actions which could harm the ag economy, and I remain deeply concerned about these tariffs in their current form.
“We know tariffs translate to higher costs for consumers. At a time when we are experiencing great economic benefits from tax reform, we should focus on opening more markets rather than enacting barriers.”
Smith serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade policy.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on President Trump’s announcement of a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum:
“This proposal is not a tariff on steel and aluminum imports; it is a tax on consumers,” said Roberts. “As we have seen in past cases of increased tariffs, higher manufacturing costs will inevitably be passed down the supply chain, forcing consumers to bear these costs. While I agree action should be taken to address overcapacity of steel and aluminum, using Section 232 as a tool to impose global tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum would have detrimental consequences to the U.S. economy. The proposed tariffs would nullify the positive gains created by the recent tax reform package passed by Congress.”
Roberts, who is also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, expressed concern last week over the president’s initial comments on these tariffs and the damaging effects they could have on agriculture saying, “Like we have seen in the past, American agriculture often pays the price. We need a trade policy that is stable and beneficial to all industries.”
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, an outspoken critic of protectionism and trade wars, issued the following statement regarding today’s tariffs.
“We’re on the verge of a painful and stupid trade war, and that’s bad. This isn’t just bad for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who need to buy a new tractor, it’s also bad for the moms and dads who will lose their manufacturing jobs because fewer people can buy a more expensive product. Temporary exceptions for Canada and Mexico are encouraging but bad policy is still bad policy, and these constant NAFTA threats are nuts.”