Republican governor asks Trump to reconsider tariffs

Wisconsin’s Republican governor says President Donald Trump’s newly announced tariffs could be detrimental to American jobs.

On Thursday, Trump announced that his administration would implement new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The controversial move is likely to invite retaliatory measures from foreign countries, raising the specter of a trade war between the US and several other steel-producing countries.

Following the announcement, Gov. Scott Walker has asked Trump to reconsider his position on tariffs if he wants to protect US jobs.

“If the President wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration’s position on these tariffs, particularly on ultra-thin aluminum,” Walker said in a statement. “As I described to US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross last year, there is not a market in America that can support the demand for ultra-thin aluminum for employers here in Wisconsin and across the country.”

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted about the possibility of a trade war, posting that they are “easy to win.”

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!” his tweet said.

However, some American companies are already facing potential backlash from the announcement — including Milwaukee-based company Harley-Davidson.

“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

Canada’s foreign minister also voiced opposition.

“Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

Walker said the move could incentivize American companies to take their business beyond US borders.

“Ironically, American companies who will feel the negative impact of the tariffs can actually move their operations to another country, such as Canada, and not face new tariffs on the sale of their products. This scenario would lead to the exact opposite outcome of the administration’s stated objective, which is to protect American jobs,” Walker’s statement said.