Trump to Republicans: It would be foolish to try and block my tariffs

Melanie Schmitz

Melanie Schmitz Senior Editor, ThinkProgress

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Republicans lawmakers not to try and stop his new 5% tariff on Mexican imports, saying it would be foolish to try and intervene.

“I don’t think they will do that,” he said, speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The tariff is set to take effect next week, Trump said, noting that they “haven’t really started yet.”

“I don’t think they will do that, if they do, it’s foolish,” he added. “There’s nothing more important than borders.”

Trump announced the 5% tariff at the end of last month, tweeting on May 30 that the percentage would “gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.” The rate would hit a maximum of 25% by October if he followed through on his threat.

“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” he wrote, saying that once immigration was under control, the tariff would be removed.

The Washington Post, along with several other outlets, reported on Monday, however, that there was an uprising among Republicans unhappy with Trump’s decision, noting they had “begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump’s planned new tariffs on Mexico.”

CNN reported on Monday that talks were still shaky, with “no clear path forward.” GOP senators were still considering legislative options.

“Republicans were considering the possibility that they may have to vote on the national emergency underlying Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexican goods. The vote could block the tariffs and disrupt funds the President already co-opted for border security,” the outlet wrote. “While some senators have discussed options, it doesn’t mean there’s a serious effort underway to bring forward such a vote.”

There was also lingering reluctance to publicly rebuke Trump over the matter, the outlet wrote.

Trump on Tuesday pushed back against any potential threat from Congress by playing up his broader popularity among Republicans.

“I’ve had tremendous Republican support. I have a 90% — 94% approval rating as of this morning in the Republican Party. That’s an all-time record,” he claimed. “Can you believe that? Isn’t that something. I love records.”

The Mexico tariffs are the latest signal that Trump is not interested in withdrawing from his ongoing trade war, which has impacted U.S. farmers and businesses heavily. Despite concerns from legislators in his own party that the tariffs are hurting their constituents, Trump on Tuesday doubled down, using the so-called “crisis” along the southern border to push his unpopular trade policy.

“I want to see security at our border,” he said. “… Mexico should step up and stop this onslaught, this invasion into our country.”

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Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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