Democrats slam Trump’s ‘bluster and chaos’ trade strategy with China

​Washington Examiner

Democrats responded warily to President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that his administration would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and said the abruptness of the move was undermining the White House’s strategy, since it said just last week it was delaying tariffs on China.

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, characterized the announcement as little more than “saber-rattling” by the administration. “Without a coherent strategy, it’s hard to see the renewed commitment to threatening tariffs and investment restrictions as anything but more bluster and chaos,” Neal said.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Ways and Means trade subcommittee, said the announcement itself was alarming.“Seemingly no one knew this announcement was coming, including, possibly, even Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,” he said. “Just last week, Mnuchin said all tariffs were on hold and he provided no detail of Treasury’s report on investment restrictions. Coupled with today’s announcement, the chaos and incoherence of this administration’s approach is more head-spinning than a pinball machine,” he said.

The White House said Tuesday that it would place a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of technological goods imported from China, and said the list of imports that will be hit with tariffs would be revealed on June 15. The administration has argued that China violates Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 by coercing U.S.-owned companies to manufacture in China as a condition of selling in China’s market.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., welcomed Trump’s move, but said Trump can’t “bargain it away.”

Posted May 29 2018 at 3:49 PM Permanent Link

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