Republicans Split Over Trump Tariff Plan

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress are frantically lobbying President Trump to water down his proposal to slap steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, fearing the move would spark a trade war and damage the U.S. economy just eight months before the 2018 elections.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other GOP lawmakers said they were pressing the president to consider a narrower response to address what Trump says is unfair trading practices by America’s global competitors.

“I think the smarter way to go is to make it more surgical and more targeted,” Ryan told reporters at a Tuesday-morning news conference.

Republicans have generally been champions of free trade. But Trump campaigned in 2016 as an economic populist, blasting multinational trade deals as bad for American workers.

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