U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said he is trying to pressure the Trump administration to conclude negotiations on trade deals so that the president’s tariffs can end.
Johnson said he is “highly concerned” about tariffs leading to a trade war and harming the economy.
“We’ve seen the saber rattling. Now we’ve actually had the opening shots of a trade war. And nobody can predict where it ends,” the Oshkosh Republican said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
Johnson is co-sponsoring a bill that would require the president to seek congressional approval of certain tariffs. He said the bill would “reclaim congressional constitutional authority.”
“You can’t have 535 members of Congress trying to negotiate trade deals. You need the chief executive to do that. But it should be in complete consultation with Congress. And in the end, you should bring those trade deals back to Congress for ratification as treaties. That’s the way the system should work,” he said.
“I’m hoping to put pressure on the Trump administration to ‘OK, fine, use (tariffs) as negotiating leverage, but conclude the deals.’ There’s a lot of micro damage being done while all this uncertainty is being created,” he said.
Johnson also said the inspector general’s report of the FBI is “going to give me a lot of information in my own three-year investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and then the FBI’s investigation of it.”
Johnson called the report a “treasure trove” of information.
“I concluded a long time ago that the email scandal, the investigation of it was not meant to uncover the truth and lead to prosecution, but it was really meant to cover up and lead to exoneration. I haven’t changed my opinion of it,” he said.
Johnson also said Trump’s summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un made the United States “marginally” safer.
“We got three hostages released, we have a commitment to return the remains of American service members that lost their lives in Korea. Those aren’t small things,” he said.
Johnson said it would now be up to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his team of experts to negotiate and “figure out how we get the complete, irreversible, verifiable dismantlement of their nuclear program and their ICBM technology.”
Also on the program Democratic candidate for governor Mahlon Mitchell said he is embracing the moniker of “union boss,” given to him by Republicans, because labor represents people.
“Labor, they’re not corporations, they represent people. So it’s not just having labor support or having union support. It’s about having their members behind you,” he said.
Mitchell said in his role as the head of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, he represents “men and women who run into burning buildings … men and women who respond to medical emergencies around the state.”
“You can call me whatever you want,” he said. “That’s helping the people of this state, and that’s what I would do as governor.”
“We need a different type of candidate, and that’s why I’m running. We need someone who is not only different but unique,” he said. “People are struggling, and we need a governor who’s going to take care of common people.”
Mitchell, who is African American, also said he would address the problem of a high rate of African-American male incarceration in Wisconsin, pledging to “tackle that head on” if elected.
He said he would do that in part by putting an end to jailing people for minor drug offenses, and getting rid of truth-in-sentencing.”
“It’s not doing what it’s intended to do. It’s actually having the reverse effect,” he said.
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