WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats on the national security implications of proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, and stressed the critical role strong trade partnerships play in the defense of our nation and allies.

Senator Ernst highlighted the priorities from the administration’s National Defense Strategy, which emphasizes the need to strengthen current alliances and partnerships while fostering new strategic relationships in order to combat growing threats. Ernst asked Director Coats what message the potential steel and aluminum tariffs would send to our allies, as well as potential future strategic partners who are looking to engage with the US.

The Iowa Senator recently returned from a delegation visit to South Korea, Japan and China, where she helped affirm the United States’ commitment to security in the Asia Pacific. Given the growing high-end threat environment in this region, Senator Ernst believes it is vital for the US to remain the partner of choice, rather than engage in economic and trade actions that may risk our ability to maintain alliances and build coalitions.

Watch Senator Ernst’s exchange with Director Coats here or by clicking on the image below.