Grassley Slams Trump: Trade Policy, Border Separate Issues

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for placing tariffs on Mexico over illegal immigration, calling it a “misuse” of his authority.

Trump announced on Thursday night that he intends to impose a five percent tax on goods from Mexico, a figure that will “increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied.” Grassley noted on Friday that this move could jeopardize the trade agreement that Trump has proposed to replace NAFTA.

“Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent,” Grassley said in a statement. “Following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage USMCA, a central campaign pledge of President Trump’s and what could be a big victory for the country.”

Although the senator noted that “Mexico must help get the border crisis under control and the president should use appropriate authorities to apply pressure,” he suggested that Trump “consider alternatives,” to tariffs, “such as imposing a fee on the billions of dollars of remittances that annually leave the United States to Mexico, which only encourage illegal immigration and don’t help the U.S. economy.”

Grassley went on to call for Congress, and Democrats in particular, to “immediately fully fund border security and interior enforcement.”

He concluded, “I support nearly every one of President Trump’s immigration policies, but this is not one of them. I urge the president to consider other options.”


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