Sen. Ron Johnson took aim Thursday at President Donald Trump's tariff proposals on steel and aluminum.
"It's actually very disappointing that free and fair trade is not politically popular. I don't understand it myself," Johnson said on CNN's "New Day."
"I think it's an incorrect economic opposition to take," he said.
"A generalized tariff that would actually harm allies, harm American consumers, by the way, harm American workers that use steel in production, hurting their competitive nature in the global market as well, I'm opposed to that."
Jobs would be at risk under tariffs on steel, Johnson said. "Maybe a couple of mills might open up, maybe a few more jobs might be created, but you're literally risking hundreds of thousands of jobs in all the other industries that utilize steel. Their costs are going to increase, their products are going to be less competitive on global markets."
"And oh, by the way, American consumers will pay higher prices, as will those steel workers, for higher priced goods, because the (price of) the raw materials increased," Johnson added.
The senator said he did not take issue with a tariff if it was targeted at China. "That's really where the root cause of the problem is, the gross oversupply within China and their trade abuses," he said.
Johnson issued a statement March 1 about the tariff proposal. "The president's announcement that he plans to levy higher taxes on materials that Wisconsin's manufacturers and consumers purchase is concerning," he wrote.
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