Government

Tarriff, Other Comments by Trump Concern Brown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A proposed 20% tariff on products imported from Mexico would be “terribly disruptive” for General Motors as well as other U.S. industries, and could trigger a trade war, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said.

The proposal is several proposals and statements from the new Trump Administration that have raised concerns for Brown, D-Ohio. He was interviewed Friday following a press event regarding infrastructure spending.

President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that he could impose the tax to pay for the wall he had pledged to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, a cornerstone of his campaign. A spokesman for Trump walked back the suggestion hours later as just one option for how to pay for the wall.

If Trump were successful in implementing the tax, Brown cautioned it would be “terribly disruptive” for GM’ supply chain “and for so much else” in the Mahoning Valley. GM has a plant at Lordstown, where it manufactures the Chevrolet Cruz.

Mexico would respond to the tax with a tariff against America – most likely targeted at agriculture – that would hurt farmers, he warned. “You just don’t do it that way. You sit down, you work together, you try to figure this out,” he remarked.

“I don’t know why he wants to spend billions and billions of dollars and then tax Americans by causing higher prices for goods in order to pay for his wall,” Brown added.

Brown also said he is concerned by the “insecurities” of a president who maintains he had a bigger crowd at his inauguration than any other president — in the face of evidence to the contrary — and claims that three million or more people voted illegally in the presidential election.

Photographs of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 indicated more people attended that ceremony by far than Trump’s inaugural just over a week ago, despite claims he made the following day during a speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters.

Crowd analysts put Trump’s attendance at about a third of what Obama drew in 2009. “Of course the first African American  … becoming president drew the biggest crowd in American history,” Brown said. Trump was further insulted when the Women’s March appeared to draw larger crowds.

“I don’t understand why that matters to him so much,” he remarked.

And there is “no evidence” of the levels of illegal voting that Trump claims, he said. The Ohio secretary of state, a Republican, and Trump’s own GOP lawyers say it isn’t true.

“It’s damaging to the system,” Brown said. “There isn’t anything to that. … I don’t know why anyone would act that way. It just puzzles me.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.