The Latest: Schumer critical of Trump’s trade proposal

The Latest: Schumer critical of Trump's trade proposal
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum (all times local):

10:18 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says President Donald Trump should back off his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

He says the problem with the proposed 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum is that it could draw reciprocal sanctions on American-made goods. He says the U.S. needs to avoid a trade war. Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, is lending his voice to that of GOP leaders who have been critical of Trump’s latest trade proposal.

But Schumer calls the president’s “instincts to go after China” correct. He says China steals intellectual property from U.S. companies and also dumps counterfeit products into the U.S.

Schumer says, “Mr. President, focus on China. Go after China.”

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9:05 a.m.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the White House is seeking to take a “surgical approach” to new tariffs, saying it is possible Canada and Mexico could be exempted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan used the same language Tuesday in calling for President Donald Trump to use a more targeted “surgical approach” to avert a potentially dangerous trade war.

Ross told reporters Wednesday: “The president indicated that if we can work something out with Canada and Mexico they will be exempted.” He says it’s “not inconceivable that others could be exempted on a similar basis.”

Trump plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. But he has held out the possibility that Canada and Mexico might not face tariffs if they are willing to offer more favorable terms under the North American Free Agreement, which is being renegotiated.

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12:17 a.m.

More warnings are coming in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

Congressional Republicans and industry groups are pressing the president to narrow his plan for across-the-board tariffs. A visiting head of state, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said during a joint news conference with Trump that increased tariffs will hurt everyone in the long run.

And the president’s top economic adviser and an opponent of tariffs, Gary Cohn, announced his plans to depart the White House.

Nonetheless, Trump has reiterated his plans as a response to mistreatment of the U.S. in trade deals. He’s leaving open the possibility that Canada and Mexico could be spared if they’re willing to offer more favorable terms under a renegotiated North American Free Agreement.

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