Toomey, Senate seek congressional role in tariff decisions

Trump's tariffs on aluminum and steel draw protests from Senate

US Senate overwhelmingly approves symbolic motion challenging Trump's tariffs

It directs a congressional committee that's reconciling separate spending bills to include language giving Congress a role when such tariffs are put in place. Trump has said Germany and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries should contribute more money and manpower to the alliance. Those allies issued retaliatory tariffs and questioned why they would be considered a national security threat to the U.S. Presidents need the freedom to negotiate, Perdue said, and Trump is simply trying to restore fairness to a trade imbalance with US trading partners. The National Retail Federation said the Senate action showed the "growing bipartisan concern over the administration's reckless trade agenda as the real-world consequences of tariffs spread in communities across the country, according to David French, a senior vice president".

"This is a vote for Congress to assume its rightful role". He said Wednesday's vote tells him "that people believe (Trump) is abusing his authorities".

But Republican congressional leaders - who control majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives and support most Trump policies - have not allowed a binding vote on the measure, settling instead only for a symbolic vote Wednesday.

Some senators are portraying it as a rebuke of President Donald Trump's use of a national security waiver to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a resolution reaffirming US support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Tuesday.

Some of the "no" votes Wednesday reflected reluctance among Trump's most stalwart supporters to stand in his way as he hammers tariffs on US allies and on China that he says are aimed at leveling the global playing field on trade and helping American workers.

"It's hard to partner up with countries to take on China and isolate China when we're in a trade war with countries we seek to partner up with", Senator Marco Rubio said.

Several senators said Trump is making it hard to work with allies to counter China.

It is unclear if the large number of Republicans who voted in support of Wednesday's non-binding language would be willing to vote for legislation that would actually impose limits on Trump's authorities on trade.

Brown said he was voting in favor of the non-binding measure because Congress "should have a role in all trade policy". Most of the major indexes closed down Wednesday, and the S&P 500 was off 0.71 percent.

He said the Trump administration needs to "explain to us where this is going". Is yours on the list?

Latest News