Trump's Trade War Backfires As Red States Defy Him

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Flake, one of the GOP's most outspoken Trump critics, is stoking speculation about his 2020 plans with a Friday appearance in New Hampshire as part of the "Politics & Eggs" speaker series, which draws presidential hopefuls to the first-in-the-nation primary state. If U.S. importers and industrial users decide to challenge the tariffs in court, they may try a tactic that stymied Trump's original ban on letting visitors from certain countries enter the U.S. and his executive actions on immigration: using his own words against him. John McCain, who eviscerated the president's national security rationale: "National security should play an important role in our trade decisions".

The tariffs will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico, the president said, adding security and trade partners could negotiate to seek exemptions. "Tariffs married with uncertainty are even worse", CNBC News quoted the Arizona lawmaker as saying on the Senate floor on Monday evening. "I think we're going completely the wrong direction, " he said. "The Department of Defense assesses that its programs are able to acquire all the steel and aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements".

"The tariffs on steel and aluminum risk undermining these positive economic developments by increasing input costs to American manufacturing and steel-dependent industries employing more than 17 million workers", he said. And, you know, when we only represent just over 20% of the world's economy, only 5% of the world's population, if we don't trade, we don't grow. "History has proven that the unintended consequences of tariffs are vast and serious, and the ones announced today threaten to undermine our growing economy and the relief that millions of Americans are feeling as a result of tax reform".

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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. It's big government picking winners and losers.

Sen Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, who also opposes the tariffs, said he wasn't ready yet to embrace a legislative response. They and the country will pay the price.