Speaker Paul Ryan undercut President Donald Trump on Thursday after Trump ended a delay on tariffs imposed on foreign steel and aluminum.
Ryan said in a statement on Thursday:
I disagree with this decision. Instead of addressing the real problems in the international trade of these products, today’s action targets America’s allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of countries like China. There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options.
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) May 31, 2018
On Thursday, America ended a delay on steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.
Speaker Ryan’s opposition to the tariffs on foreign steel contrasts with his Republican base. A Morning Consult poll in March revealed that 70 percent of Republican voters support Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The survey also suggested that a plurality of Americans—41 percent — support Trump’s tariffs.
Another poll suggested that more than 80 percent of Americans support Trump’s trade economic nationalism.
Daniel McCarthy, the editor of the conservative Modern Age, told Breitbart News Saturday in March that the “Republican party was built on economic nationalism.”
If we go back further than 30 years, we go back to the 19th century, the Republican party was built on economic nationalism and a party supported strong tariffs, people like President McKinley for example stand out as strong leaders of that. The Republican party has a long tradition of supporting American industry.
Speaker Ryan announced in April that he will not seek reelection at the end of this congressional term. Since Ryan announced his retirement, he has had to balance the competing interests of the moderate wing of the House Republican conference, that wants to pass a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty, and the House Freedom Caucus, that wants to pass the Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill.
Speaker Ryan failed to garner enough votes to pass the Farm bill in May after the Freedom Caucus did not believe that the House Republican leadership would put the Goodlatte immigration bill on the House floor for a vote.
Former Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Breitbart News Saturday in May that conservative and moderate members have become frustrated with Speaker Ryan and the House Republican leadership.
A number of conservative leaders have led a campaign to draft Jordan to become the next Speaker of the House.
In the letter, the conservative leaders said that the current House leadership has “utterly failed” and “proven that it’s part of the Swamp.”