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Sen. Graham: Trump Making 'Huge Mistakes' With Worldwide Tariffs

Sen. Graham: Trump Making 'Huge Mistakes' With Worldwide Tariffs
Sen. Lindsey Graham (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 04 March 2018 12:39 PM

President Donald Trump is "making a huge mistake" if he enacts worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminum, and if he begins higher tariffs on imports such as cars, rather than specifically targeting China, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday, as it will mean the United States is "letting China off the hook."

"China wins when we fight with Europe," the South Carolina Republican told CBS' "Face the Nation." "China wins when the American consumer has higher prices because of tariffs that don't affect China."

Instead, Graham said, Trump should go after China, 'not the rest of the world," and work on stopping intellectual property theft and steel dumping, rather than "punishing the American consumer" through tariffs.

"The reason our steel industry has been decimated is because of China jump dumping," Graham said he'd tell Trump, if he was asked. "China produces more steel than the world consumes for several years in a row."

Trump on Saturday warned he'd "simply apply a tax" on cars coming into the country if the European Union retaliated in response to the new tariffs on aluminum and steel he announced late last week, and Graham on Sunday said that is a bad idea.

"Taxing European car imports hurts BMW because they can do the same thing to us," said Graham "BMW makes more cars in Greenville, South Carolina, than any plant in the entire BMW family. Volkswagen has come to South Carolina. We have got a steel plant in South Carolina, we make more tires than any place in the United States. Thirty two percent of the tires exported from the United States comes from South Carolina. This tariff on steel is going to hurt them."

Graham also discussed the issue of school safety, saying that he'd tell Trump that he has an obligation for a package regarding gun safety and schools.

"Come up with solutions that are bipartisan," Graham said. "Propose something, Mr. President. I think Republicans have an obligation to work with Democrats to make it law if we can."

The senator on Sunday also reports claiming that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster will be leaving the White House, saying he is "very confident" in McMaster's abilities.

"I think he's learned as much about the war on terror from fighting it than anybody that I know," said Graham of McMaster, a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. "I think he's really smart on North Korea and Iran, I hope the president will keep him around but it's up to the president. He can fire anybody he likes but I have lot of confidence in Gen. McMaster."

Graham said he also has a great deal of trust in Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has "created order out of chaos" in the White House.

"John Kelly has created order out of chaos initially, it's back sliding but I think John Kelly is the right guy to continue to help the president organize his agenda, have a lot of faith and trust in John Kelly, hope he stays."

Also on Sunday, Graham discussed the decision to downgrade Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner's security clearance, but said he is not concerned about the Middle East peace process Kushner is heading, as the region is about to erupt into war.

"The last thing on my mind right now is the peace process," he said. "We're about to have a war between Israel and Hezbollah and southern Lebanon. Iran is winning and we're losing. The king of Jordan is under siege, plus we have no policy regarding the Russian-Iranian access."

In addition, southern Lebanon is a rocket-launching site against Israel, he said, and they are developing precise-guided weapons.

"I would focus on Iran rather than pushing the peace process," said Graham. "If we don't come up with a strategy against Iran, we're going to make Israel go to war."

In other matters, Graham plans to introduce a bill this week calling for a red flag policy that would allow authorities to seize guns before violence is committed.

"We tell our citizens if you see something, say something," said Graham, referring to the news about accused Parkland, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz. "Everybody saw something, everybody said something, but the government did nothing."

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President Donald Trump is "making a huge mistake" if he enacts worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminum, and if he begins higher tariffs on imports such as cars, rather than specifically targeting China, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday, as it will mean the United States is...
lindsey graham, trump, go after, china, not tariffs, hurting, us. consumers
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2018-39-04
Sunday, 04 March 2018 12:39 PM
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