Handel breaks with Trump on tariffs

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel on Thursday criticized the White House’s move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada, saying it would “dampen” recent economic gains. 

The Roswell Republican said the European and North American countries were important U.S. allies and urged the Trump administration to reconsider its new duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, which are set to go into effect Friday.  

“Today’s actions — and the inevitable retaliatory moves by these countries — will hurt working Americans, negatively affect our economy, and do not further the goal of fostering more equitable trade,” she said in a written statement. 

Handel’s stance is not all that different from many of her Republican colleagues, including Georgia U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, but her reaction is notable because it’s the first time she’s publicly broken from President Donald Trump since winning last year’s 6th District special election

Handel, who has made selling the GOP tax overhaul a centerpiece of her reelection campaign, said the tariffs risk the gains created by the tax law and recent deregulation. 

But like Perdue and Isakson, Handel also steered clear of directly attacking Trump’s agenda. 

“I support President Trump’s goal to renegotiate agreements with our trading partners and champion the 'America first' strategy, so that our farmers, businesses, and workers have a level playing field," she said. "Existing jobs and the creation of new jobs depend on the ability of U.S. companies to sell more American-made products and services."

Handel’s 6th District is home to the new U.S. headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, which could be hit hard by the new tariffs. Porsche also has a presence in the neighboring district near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Trump is reportedly mulling a ban on German luxury cars. 

Read more: 

Trump’s top Georgia ally urging him to change course on tariffs

Karen Handel embraces Donald Trump ahead of 6th District runoff

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Political Insider

Opinion: Fathers are cool

I’m going up to visit with my parents this weekend, to share Father’s Day with them.  To mark the occasion, here’s the great Luther Vandross, telling his own version of that age-old story.  Have a great weekend, folks, and as they say in the Good Book, “Honor thy father and mother”: <iframe width="459"...
06/17 Mike Luckovich. All new villains!
06/17 Mike Luckovich. All new villains!

The inevitable, demographic hand-off that’s headed Georgia’s way
The inevitable, demographic hand-off that’s headed Georgia’s way

Several weeks ago, before the year’s last bell had rung, I found myself in front of a group of very bright students at North Cobb High School. I sidled up to my topic carefully, beginning with George Washington and the virtue of restraint. Of all the Founding Fathers, Washington is most famous for what he might have done, but didn’t. After...
Opinion: Trump speaks; Trump lies
Opinion: Trump speaks; Trump lies

In comments on the White House lawn Friday morning, President Trump told at least three blatant, major and unquestionable lies. 1.) Trump said the new inspector’s general report totally exonerates him and proves there had been no collusion between his campaign and Russia. The report says NOTHING about that. Not a damn thing. He is trying to redefine...
The Jolt: Sonny Perdue heads to Canada to debate the price of milk
The Jolt: Sonny Perdue heads to Canada to debate the price of milk

In the United States, federally mandated ethanol subsidies, which prop up the price of corn in the Midwest, are the big dog in agricultural politics. Sonny Perdue is about to learn that the humble liter of milk has the same level of clout in Canada. One week after President Donald Trump shook up a G-7 meeting and hurled insults at its...
More Stories