Despite strong opposition even amidst his own party, President Donald Trump introduced measures this afternoon that will impose a 25% tariff on all foreign-made steel and a 10% tariff on all foreign-made aluminum.
The tariffs — which go into effect March 23 — include initial exclusions for Canada and Mexico, with language that could provide flexibility for other unspecified countries as well.
Trump enforced the tariffs under Sec. 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which grants the president the authority to restrict imports based on their effect on America’s economy or security.
“A nation that does not protect property at home cannot protect its property abroad,” Trump said.
The tariffs come under the auspice that they will help recover raw goods production jobs lost in large part to China, though they could potentially have an opposite impact on manufacturers who rely on imported materials.
“These so-called ‘flexible tariffs’ are a marriage of two lethal poisons to economic growth — protectionism and uncertainty,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. “Trade wars are not won — they are only lost.”
The senator said he is already drafting legislation to nullify the tariffs, calling on bipartisan support in overturning what he said could be a financially catastrophic move.
“Congress cannot be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster,” Flake said.