Corker on Trump’s ‘Abuse of His Authority’ on Tariffs: ‘There’s a Jailbreak Brewing’ in Opposition

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said there was a “jailbreak brewing” in Congress for opposition to President Donald Trump’s tariff policies.

Corker said, “The president broadly has used section 232 of the Trade Act, which is national security. It’s absolutely an abuse of his authority. It’s being used against our European allies, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries.”

He continued, “It is successfully united the world against us. There’s not a person at the White House that can articulate why they are doing this other than to create leverage on NAFTA. And I don’t know of a senator that isn’t concerned about the broad use of this. So the amendment is just to say that if he’s going to use 232, which has never, ever been used in this way, it’s absolutely an abuse of authority, if he’s going to use it, once he completes negotiations on tariffs, he has to send it to Congress. it’s our responsibility.”

He added, “I think there’s a jailbreak brewing. I really do. I think people, especially as these tariffs are being put in place against us, these countermeasures, and as people realize that 22,000 companies, 22,000 companies, have asked for exemptions, the White House is only — or the Commerce Department is only dealt with 98 of those. There’s no basis to deal with them. It’s not unlike what happened on the immigration issue where there was no preparation. Are they going to grant these exclusions based on political contributions? Or are they going to base them on something else? So we’re getting ready to have a similar situation. We’re getting ready to have a similar situation to what happened on immigration policy, and I’m hoping there will be a jailbreak and we will move toward passing this legislation.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN