President Trump’s move to introduce protective tariffs on both steel and aluminum has brought strong opposition from both sides of the aisle. However, Democrats are the most furious, as Trump teases that his tariffs will pay big political dividends for the 2020 election.
While top party Democrats wail over the proposed policy changes, rank and file Dems are sining a distinctly different tune. The Chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party in Ohio, David Betras said, “It worries me as a Democrat that the national Democrats don’t see that Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin were hurt badly by trade deals,”.
Betras mourned that “national Democrats have the audacity to give the president shit on that, and they think it’s going to resonate.”
Even noted progressive activist, and head of the AFL-CIO Union, Richard Trumka, is singing the President’s praises. On Twitter, Trumpka called the tariff a “good steps towards fixing predatory practices that hurt workers & cheat companies that produce in US.”
the story on the Republican side is much more muted and wary. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman, Ashlee Strong, said on Monday in a statement, “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan.”
Former special assistant to the President, Andy Surabian responded to Ryan, saying, “Is he [Trump] going against Republican dogma, really? Or is he going against Republican dogma inside the Beltway?” Adding, “There is a major disconnect on the issue of trade between the think tanks and the politicians in Washington, and actual Republican voters across the country.”
Professor of public affairs at Pennsylvania’s Franklin & Marshall College, Terry Madonna, said,“I would identify the support for Trump literally based on the backgrounds of a particular group of people here, and the same with Ohio and Michigan,” he said. “The working-class voters in the steel and old manufacturing areas of my state are with Trump on this. They think they have been badly treated by the trade deals.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, lashed out at Ryan for criticizing the President, saying that the administration was in good terms with Ryan, but “that doesn’t mean we agree on everything. We want to do everything we can to protect American workers.”
Sarah Sanders further referred that lawmakers should not be in a state of shock after the President’s move, as “If they were caught off guard, they simply haven’t been listening to what he’s been saying and what he’s been talking about and how he’s promised to make good trade deals,” she said.
President Donald Trump told reporters earlier during the day that, “we’re not backing down” on tariffs. He added, that the United States has been “ripped off by virtually every country in the world, whether it’s friend or enemy.”