U.S. Senate backs non-binding tariff measure, minor…

Jack Daniel's whiskey displayed at Rossi's Deli in San Francisco

Jack Daniel's whiskey displayed at Rossi's Deli in San Francisco

Some of the "no" votes Wednesday reflected reluctance among Trump's most stalwart supporters to stand in his way as he hammers tariffs on USA allies and on China that he says are aimed at leveling the worldwide playing field on trade and helping American workers. Trump invoked Section 232 on May 31 when he imposed stiff tariffs on aluminum and steel coming from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. "We will continue to push for a binding vote and are hopeful one will be scheduled in the near future".

Wednesday's vote does not achieve that goal either.

"Tariffs are a tax on the American people, and as the USA economy and American businesses and consumers begin to feel the damaging effects of incoherent trade policy, I believe support for our legislation will only grow", Corker said in a statement, as quoted by Inside Trade.

But Republican congressional leaders - who control majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives and support most Trump policies - have not allowed a binding vote on the measure, settling instead only for a symbolic vote Wednesday.

The administration on Tuesday ramped up its trade dispute with China by announcing a possible second round of tariffs targeting a $200 billion list of Chinese goods.




"The president is taking a different approach, sometimes controversial, but I believe he's a pragmatist".

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., called on lawmakers to give the president "space" to negotiate better trade deals. The motion directs Senate energy and water appropriations bill conferees to include in the legislation language that would provide "a role for Congress in making a determination under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962".

"Today, the Senate issued a clear rebuke of this administration's trade policy", said Flake.

Section 232 is the provision of trade law that gives the president authority to unilaterally level tariffs if he determines that foreign imports threaten US national security. "This vote represents the strongest and most straightforward message this chamber has delivered against the administration's abuse of trade authority". Bob Corker on Thursday convened a Foreign Relations Committee hearing to explore the implications of tariffs for US foreign policy and the global economy. Corker said no one ever anticipated that a president would use that authority the way Trump has done. The White House has launched an investigation into whether tariffs on auto imports should be imposed under the same law.

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