‘UpFront’: Johnson says Trump tariffs risky for economy

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson called President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs risky and said Congress may hold hearings on them.

“Maybe this is a negotiating tactic. It’s kind of a risky one if it is,” the Oshkosh Republican said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Johnson said the positive things that have happened in the economy since Trump took office could be “completely undermined” by a trade war.

“You just can’t predict how this is going to end, at all,” he said.

Johnson said he and other Republican lawmakers have been pushing back for months against the idea of tariffs, but “the president has believed this for decades, and he’s implementing it.”

Johnson said he has written to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross seeking the economic justification for the tariffs, and that Congress will probably hold hearings.

“Hopefully we can continue to talk to (Trump) and we’ll be able to limit the damage,” Johnson said.

Also on the program, attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin with Midwest Environmental Advocates said Racine’s request for 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan for Foxconn may not comply with the Great Lakes Compact.

“The request to serve Foxconn has a problem with compliance with the threshold requirements of the compact,” she said.

She said Mt. Pleasant, where the Foxconn plant will be located, is a “straddling community,” partly within and outside the basin.

“For communities like that who are seeking to provide water outside the basin, you must meet a threshold requirement, which is that the water be used for public water supply purposes,” she said.

“In the compact it is carefully defined that ‘public water supply purposes’ are those provided to a group of largely residential customers,” she said.

“Here it’s the opposite. Foxconn is not residential; it’s a private industrial complex,” Habush Sinykin said.

She said member states of the Great Lakes Compact could ask for a regional review of the water diversion request.

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