Trump tells lawmakers he's considering tariffs, quotas

President Trump's budget request includes provisions that could affect drug prices

President Trump's budget request includes provisions that could affect drug prices. Andrew Harrer Bloomberg via Getty Images

In 2017, the United States trade deficit in goods rose to its highest level in 9 years.

"I will make a decision that reflects the best interests of the United States, including the need to address overproduction in China and other countries, ' he said".

Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told the president that the manufacturing economy has shifted in the last 25 years, making his concerns less compelling.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who represents Pennsylvania - a state with storied connection to the US steel industry - told Trump the tariffs could "invite retaliation" and would be hard to justify on national security grounds. The tariffs, which will last four years, will gradually decrease to 15 percent after the first year - and the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt each year.

"Once you decide you're going to do it, other countries decide to send their stuff in under the wire", he said. Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of MI, noted that the auto parts industry relied on affordable metals.

"We make aluminum and we make steel in Missouri, but we buy a lot of aluminum and we buy a lot of steel as well".

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"Steel dumping poses a particularly damaging threat to our national security, hurting domestic producers and weakening a key part of our national defense supply chain", Peters added. "In a statement, the Senator said he was pleased with how the meeting went today, and he will continue to push the president to do more to enforce our trade laws".

US President Donald Trump has said he will no longer allow the US to be the world's "piggy bank", as he discussed the possibility of introducing tariffs and quotas for steel and aluminium imports.

At the same time, some Democrats from states Trump carried - and the more populist voters who propelled him into office - are pushing for actions that resemble the president's trade threats. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of OH, thanked Mr. Trump for recent tariffs imposed to protect American manufacturers of washing machines, and urged tough measures on steel imports.

"We have a very, very bad trade deal with Korea", Trump said.

But an administration official said later on Monday that there isn't a proposal for a reciprocal tax in the works.

"I think we should have a reciprocal tax. And then I call that fair trade". They're charging us massive tariffs for us to sell our products into those countries.

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