President Trump called the ongoing trade war with China a “little squabble” on Tuesday, but Representative Steve Stivers disagrees with how Trump is using tariffs to negotiate.
Stivers (R-15) said in an interview, with Spectrum Washington reporter Taylor Popielarz on Tuesday, that tariffs are not the right answer in trying to get China to play fairly in the world of trade.
“I believe tariffs are starting to hurt American consumers, they’re starting to hurt American manufacturers and American farmers,” he said. “And I believe that we need to take a step back, look at other tools — like anti-dumping opportunities, WTO [World Trade Organization] complaints — and not start a trade war.”
Stivers added, “I disagree with the president.”
Trump tweeted incorrectly on Sunday that the United States “will be taking in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China.”
And in a tweet on Tuesday, that’s also incorrect, Trump said that “money will come from the massive tariffs being paid to the U.S. [by China].”
U.S. companies and consumers end up paying more for products when tariffs are raised.
Stivers said there is a trade problem with China that needs to be corrected, but he wants the White House to listen to him saying tariffs are not the solution.
“Unfortunately, I think the president may only learn as the economy slows,” Stivers said. “I don’t want that to happen, but I know that is the natural outcome of tariffs.”
Trump said Tuesday morning that he thinks this will turn out “extremely well.”
Stivers said he hopes the White House recognizes that free trade benefits America.