President Trump declared Thursday morning that "we must not let our country, companies, and workers be taken advantage of any longer," indicating that a rumored announcement about new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports looks like it's a go this afternoon.
Just hours before, administration officials were reportedly "engaged in a fierce debate … about whether to make the announcement Thursday — or delay it altogether," Politico writes. The tariffs have split the administration into two camps: National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Defense Secretary James Mattis are among those who have expressed opposition to the tariffs. Trump has remained in unwavering favor of implementing them, along with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Although there are a number of options on the table, a person familiar with Trump's thinking told Politico that the president likes the sound of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Still, "tariffs can be challenged by other countries through a legal process, and many GOP lawmakers have warned the White House that [Trump] could trigger a trade war if this isn't properly vetted," The Washington Post writes.
Trump technically has until April 11 to make a decision on aluminum, and April 19 on steel, CNBC reports.