Most Republicans have resisted Trump’s protectionist tendencies for ideological reasons as well as for the hit to the economy and their own political fortunes. But they’ve made an exception on China given its economic rivalry with the United States. Now his tariff regime on Chinese, European and North American imports have reduced economic growth and increased household costs, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Amid some talk by Trump of new tax cuts to juice the economy, his own political party is cool to the idea. Instead GOP senators are urging the president to conclude new trade deals with Japan and the United Kingdom and intensify the effort to push the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement through Congress.
Republicans like Toomey are also advising the White House to embrace modest renewals of expiring tax provisions to counteract a slowdown in business investment.
And, however delicately, they are urging Trump to show more flexibility on China.