Ben Voelkel

WASHINGTON – During an appearance on Bloomberg News Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) explained his concerns with the administration’s plan to enact tariffs on aluminum and steel that could negatively affect Wisconsin consumers and manufacturers, and underscored the importance of Congress’ role in trade.

Excerpts from Senator Johnson’s appearance are below and video can be found here.

“The president said he enjoys conflict. Markets don’t like conflict, investors don’t like conflict. Markets like stability and certainty and so do investors. I am highly concerned with this administration’s move that could spark a trade war. The president claims we could win a trade war – I don’t think anybody does. There’d be an awful lot of collateral damage.”

“I would much rather export $2.3 trillion from America and tolerate a half trillion dollar trade deficit than have balanced trade or maybe even surplus but we only export a trillion dollars. I think trading activity is good for the global economy, for the American economy, and the American worker as well, so I am highly concerned about this administration’s steps that they are taking on tariffs.”

“I’m hoping this administration tailors this specifically to address the real abusers and hold harmless our allies and trading our partners.”

“One of the reasons I’m on this program is to provide advice to the president: Please don’t do this. Target the real abuses and let’s hold harmless and let’s strengthen our relationship with our strong allies. It is better for America and American workers and Wisconsin workers. … In Wisconsin we have a trade surplus with both Canada and Mexico.”

“I think we have ceded far too much authority when it comes to trade and tariffs to the president. I completely agree, we need one negotiator, but as in the case of trade agreements and trade treaties, Congress should have a say. We should be approving these types of moves and not just give the president unilateral authority.”

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