The speaker joins a growing chorus of opposition from within the president’s party to his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.
HOUSE SPEAKER Paul Ryan on Monday openly opposed President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, circulating a report that the stock market was falling on the news and warning that the consequences of the move could "jeopardize" economic gains from last year's tax bill.
"We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan," a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement. "The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains."
The speaker's press office forwarded a CNBC article that initially reported that the Dow Jones opened down 100 points Monday, on the heels of a 420-point plunge on Thursday, the day Trump announced plans for a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.
The article has since been updated to reflect a recovery in the markets later Monday morning after tweets from Trump suggested the possibility the tariff's weren't a done deal and could be linked to ongoing efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, as well as a Reuters report indicating that congressional leaders were willing to act to counter Trump if he moves forward with his plans.
At the White House on Monday, Trump said he was "not backing down" despite the criticism from within his own party.
"We had a very bad deal with Mexico, we had a very bad deal with NAFTA," Trump said, ahead of a meeting with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. "Right now, 100 percent, but it could be a part of NAFTA."
Trump's plan to impose tariffs has been met with unusually strong and widespread pushback from his own party.
Among the critics were Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who warned that a prospective trade war would prompt retaliation and that "agriculture is the No. 1 target." Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called the move "leftist economic policy," saying that "American families have suffered" when similar policies have been tried in the past.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chided Trump, saying that "whoever advised him on this ought to be reprimanded."
"Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and American families, and new tariffs would jeopardize some of the opportunities we successfully created through tax reform," Hatch said Thursday.
And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted a link to a column in The Washington Post that said "Trump's tariffs will hurt all Americans."
"The president's sweeping tariffs will only serve to hurt American workers and consumers, and alienate us from our most important allies and trading partners," McCain said.