When he initially decided on the plan, he reportedly said that the 25 percent tariff on foreign steel and 10 percent tariff on foreign aluminum would apply to all countries, because otherwise, everyone would ask for an exemption.
But Republicans also are looking to possible lawsuits by companies hurt by the tariffs as a way to roll them back. "I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy". That "nullification crisis" was brought to an end by President Andrew Jackson's declaration of the supremacy of federal law, cementing his place as a hero to American nationalists.
Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican, described the tariffs as a "tax on consumers" in a statement Thursday night. He said he would support Congress passing laws to curtail the president's executive power. Without coming out in favor or against the tariffs, Baldwin said the decision "sends a strong message to bad actors like China" but also called for Trump to exempt European trading partners and do more to "target China's cheating".
"Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster", the Arizona senator said.
One of the GOP's major donors, Charles Koch, wrote in The Post: "The administration's recent decision to impose major steel and aluminum tariffs - on top of higher tariffs on washing machines and solar panels - will have the same harmful effect". "They (the administration) truly believe that tariffs is the way to go".
In making the long-awaited announcement Thursday, Trump says the US industry has been "ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices".
Countries could challenge Trump's action in the World Trade Organization, putting this worldwide forum in the uncomfortable position of determining what is in the "essential security interests" of the US, in accordance with an existing agreement on tariffs and trade. Jeff Flake on Sunday said President Trump needs a 2020 challenge from someone who holds Flake's traditional conservative views.