White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro on Sunday said that the president will not have exemptions to his recently announced steel and aluminum tariffs.
“As soon as he starts exempting countries, he has to raise the tariff on everybody else,” Navarro said during a heated interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.
When Wallace asked Navarro if the president would exempt the European Union, Navarro responded, “that’s not his decision.” Wallace sharply disagreed in what then prompted cross-talk on the show.
Navarro argued that if exemptions were allowed, it would just lead to higher tariffs.
“There will be an exemption procedure for particular cases where we need to have exemptions so that business can move forward but at this point in time, there will be no country exclusions,” Navarro told Jake Tapper in a separate appearance on “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro says there will be no country exclusions on the steel and aluminum tariffs #CNNSOTU https://t.co/kKy6wENJPR https://t.co/9xGZ1iNWoV
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 4, 2018
“The reason why the president is doing this is because if he doesn’t do this, we would lose our aluminum industry very quickly and our steel industry very quickly thereafter,” said Navarro, who wrote “Death by China” in 2011. The Trump administration has blamed China for influencing the decision to impose tariffs.
He also made the case that the tariffs are needed to protect U.S. national security.
“The downstream effects of steel and aluminum tariffs are insignificant and the mission here is to preserve our steel and aluminum industries for national security and economic security,” Navarro said, arguing with Wallace on the overall impact that tariffs would have on American companies.
President Trump announced earlier this week that he would be imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Some foreign nations have said they plan to retaliate if the tariffs are imposed.