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House Speaker Paul Ryan opposes Trump's decision to impose tariffs on US allies

Christine Wang
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said he disagrees with the Trump administration's decision to levy tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
  • The Wisconsin Republican said the U.S. should instead work with its allies to tackle unfair trade practices of countries like China.
  • On Thursday, the U.S. said it would be imposing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that he disagrees with the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico .

"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," Ryan said in a statement.

The Wisconsin Republican said "there are better ways to help American workers and consumers."

Earlier Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports will take effect at midnight . The U.S. had previously given allies a temporary reprieve from these duties, but the exemptions were set to expire Friday.

The metals tariff decision comes as the Trump administration tries to negotiate a pact with China to avoid a potentially devastating trade war. On Tuesday, the White House said it would release a list by mid-June of about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods on which the U.S. will impose a 25 percent tariff.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had also expressed concerns about the tariffs. A spokesperson for McConnell said the Republican " has been clear that a trade war is not in the best interest of Kentucky's economy and that there are better ways to address trade imbalances."

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada will impose tariffs on CA$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) of imports from the United States , including whiskey, orange juice, and other products. The EU has threatened to levy tariffs on Harley-Davidson HOG motorcycles and bourbon, among other U.S. exports.

Whiskey is a top export for McConnell's state, Kentucky. Harley-Davidson is headquartered in Ryan's state, Wisconsin.



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