Trump tariffs trigger Republican rebellion

The top Republican in the US Congress, Paul Ryan, publicly denounced President Donald Trump's imposition Thursday of steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. "But that's not to say it will stay that way", Flake responded.

He fueled speculation about his presidential ambitions by announcing that he would appear at next week's New Hampshire Institute of Politics event, "Politics & Eggs". "It really does", Flake said. "Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster", Flake's statement continued.

He added: "I also think that there will be an independent challenge, particularly if the Democrats insist on putting somebody up from the far left of the party". "Somebody who voices, you know, reservations about where the president is or criticizes his behavior.it's tough to be re-elected in a Republican primary". Last year, he wrote a book rebuking his own Republican Party for embracing Trump-style nationalism and protectionism at the expense of traditional conservative values such as free trade. "Tariffs married with uncertainty are even worse", Flake, who is not seeking re-election, said on the Senate floor Monday evening.

Republicans fear Trump's action risks distracting voters and disrupting the USA economy just months before the midterm election that will test his protectionist policies, populist rhetoric and chaotic approach to the presidency.

The junior senator from Arizona said the United States needs to "aggressively negotiate" both bilateral and multilateral trade deals "in order to catch up".

"I think we're going completely the wrong direction", Flake said.

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"The risk is that this becomes normalized, and we take as normal what is abnormal".

"If we don't trade, we don't grow".

"It undermines the benefits that the new tax law provides and runs counter to our goal of advancing pro-growth trade policies that will keep America competitive in the 21st century global economy", he said.

Just days ago, OregonLive published a list of potential Republican contenders who could square off against Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was pressed repeatedly by "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd who Trump attacked as a "sleeping son of a b--h" to respond to Trump's comments at the rally but brushed them off.

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