Louisiana House Republicans push back against President's propos - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Louisiana House Republicans push back against President's proposed tariffs

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President Donald Trump is pushing forward with his plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Meanwhile, more than 100 U.S. House Republicans, including some from Louisiana, are pushing back against the plan, as is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying it's afraid of a trade war.

However, some Acadiana businesses support the President's proposed tariffs, says Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero.

"A lot of the steel, from dry pipes for offshore wells to the fabrication material to build the rigs to drill the well. You know, it comes from all over the world. But again we have no manufacturing capability in the U.S. and the president just feels it's a threat to national security," Romero said.

Romero says the higher prices on steel imports will ultimately be a benefit for the national economy by bringing steel manufacturing back to the U.S. and by creating jobs.

"If you look at all things considered the steel industry was a big thing in the U. S. It's not anymore. And you can stand and argue they the need the cheaper material here for projects, but there's no material available here because it's been decimated," Romero said. 

U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins is warning against the tariffs.

In a letter to Trump, Higgins said the tariffs could potentially cost Louisiana's liquid natural gas industry $120 billion in private investment projects.

"We've communicated clearly and candidly with the president, a man that I have come to know and we work together very well, to make sure that ongoing projects — existing projects that have already been modeled out economically, hundreds of millions of profit capital invested in many cases — that these projects are protected from any new tariff that would be born in the president's administration," Higgins said.

Other members of Louisiana's Congressional delegation share Higgins' concerns.

They say while they want the President to address the issues of fair trade and American manufacturing, they want him to be more careful in his approach.

"We have some concerns of our own over some broad universal tariffs that would be imposed on steel and aluminum imports because there's very often negative consequences that are unintended when we begin to play the trade wars," U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson said.

"Broad tariffs may have unintended consequences for Louisiana's jobs, specifically in shipbuilding, oil and gas, agriculture," U.S. Rep. Ralph Lee Abraham said.

Official action on Trump's tariff proposition could come by the end of the week, but Canada and Mexico could be exempt from those tariffs.

Officials say those countries would be exempted under a national security "carve-out." However, any country seeking an exemption would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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