March 5, 2018 / 4:53 PM / 7 months ago

Paul Ryan urges Trump not to advance with tariffs: spokeswoman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday urged the Trump administration not to move forward on new tariffs on steel and aluminum announced last week, citing the risks to the economy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at a news conference with Republican leaders after a closed conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan. The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, the top Republican in the House.

Trump’s announcement on planned tariffs has caused a rift with Republican lawmakers and have sparked warnings of retaliation from allies, including the European Union.

Congressional leaders also would not rule out potential action in the future if Trump pursues the planned tariffs, a House Republican source said, although the source did not specify what action lawmakers were considering.

The chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Subcommittee on Trade, Kevin Brady and Dave Reichert, said in a letter that tariffs should be narrow, targeted, focused on addressing unfairly traded products, and argued that they should not disrupt the flow of fairly traded products for American businesses and consumers, according to a spokeswoman.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Susan Cornwell in Washington; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by James Dalgleish

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