ETC Chairman Ernst Leads Senate Colleagues in Letter to the President Over Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Senators highlight potential negative affects to international relationships, national security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities Chairman Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), sent a letter to President Trump today expressing concern over how his proposed aluminum and steel tariffs could impact our national security and strain relationships with our international allies and partners.

The Senators stressed that, “As outlined in both the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, maintaining relationships with allies and partners is vital to international stability and the national security of the United States. Our military and intelligence communities benefit from these alliances and partnerships, and in today’s strategic environment it is of utmost importance that we continue to foster constructive relationships with international partners that share our nation’s concerns and interests with emphasis on addressing the most critical challenges facing the U.S. and global steel industry.”

They continued, offering that “In lieu of imposing broad, global aluminum and steel tariffs that could adversely impact our relationship with several key allies, we ask that the administration consider alternative approaches to address these issues.” 

The full letter can be found here or below.

 

March 8, 2018

 

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20500

 

Mr. President,

We write today to express our concern regarding proposed aluminum and steel tariffs and the impact on national security of such actions. While we recognize and appreciate the administration’s commitment to strengthening the economy of the United States, imposing broad tariffs on both aluminum and steel could risk straining relationships with international allies and partners.

In your recently released National Security Strategy, you list “Reinforcing Economic Ties with Allies and Partners” as a priority stating, “[w]e will strengthen economic ties as a core aspect of our relationships with like-minded states and use our economic expertise, markets and resources to bolster states threatened by our competitors.” Strengthening alliances and attracting new partners is also made a top priority in the National Defense Strategy released by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

As outlined in both the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, maintaining relationships with allies and partners is vital to international stability and the national security of the United States. Our military and intelligence communities benefit from these alliances and partnerships, and in today’s strategic environment it is of utmost importance that we continue to foster constructive relationships with international partners that share our nation’s concerns and interests with emphasis on addressing the most critical challenges facing the U.S. and global steel industry.

As such, we remain concerned that imposing tariffs risks alienating key international partners that contribute to our ability to defend our nation and maintain international stability. In lieu of imposing broad, global aluminum and steel tariffs that could adversely impact our relationship with several key allies, we ask that the administration consider alternative approaches to address these issues. 

Thank you for your attention in this matter. We share your commitment to the defense and prosperity of this great nation and its citizens. 

Sincerely,