Corker working to block Trump tariffs with Bredesen’s blessing; Blackburn ‘still trying to work through this’

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he and others are “crafting” legislation requiring congressional authority over levying tariffs in response to President Donald Trump’s imposition of stiff steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, according to the Times Free Press. Phil Bredesen, the Democrat running to replace him, has embraced the idea. Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn has not, though she’s concerned about the tariffs and “still trying to work through this.”

“I think that the authorities are being abused, and I think a number of people around here do,” the Chattanooga Republican told Washington-based reporters Monday in a follow-up to critical tweets he put out over the weekend on the issue. “So we’re crafting some legislation, working with other offices to try to pull back some of those authorities to Congress.”

The comments by Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came after his tweets over the weekend that put the Tennessean in conflict yet again with Trump. And the issue also spilled over yet again into the Senate contest between Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, who are vying to succeed Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor.

In addition to the already imposed 25 percent duty on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, the president is examining whether to invoke the same national security provision to slap tariffs on imports of cars, vans, trucks and vehicle parts, a move that has also drawn concern in Tennessee, which is home to three manufacturing plants, including Volkswagen, that rely on a global supply chain and worry about blowback.

… Corker tweeted he was “working with like-minded Republican senators on ways to push back on the president using authorities in ways never intended and that are damaging to our country and our allies. Will Democrats join us?”

While both Blackburn and Bredesen have fretted in recent Times Free Press interviews or statements over the tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, as well as Trump’s exploration of doing the same on autos, the former governor’s campaign has been more critical.

On Monday, Bredesen tweeted a response to Corker’s posts:

“I respect Senator Corker for putting Tennessee ahead of Washington politics. These tariffs do a lot of damage to TN businesses. For my part, I call on every Democrat and Republican who cares about our state to stand with him on this.”

In an appearance on Fox Business News’ Mornings With Maria, Blackburn said, “we are watching [the situation] very closely. Of course, we know that the intention is to punish bad actors and not the American consumer. So, that is something everybody agrees on.”

Blackburn said, “we are concerned when it comes to auto manufacturers, auto-parts manufacturers, boat manufacturers that we have in Tennessee that use a tremendous amount of sheet aluminum. … You’ve got washing machine manufacturers that are there, and they’re concerned.”

When one of the hosts noted the steel and aluminum tariffs are already in effect, Blackburn said, “Right, and we’re talking to them [administration officials] every day. And we’re waiting to see exactly what’s going to happen, what exemptions are going to take place, and how this is going to come down.”

Blackburn noted “Donald Trump goes through a process in negotiating, so we’re in the conversation, talking to Commerce and Trade and, you know, still trying to work through this.”

… On Monday, Bredesen tweeted a response to Corker’s posts:

“I respect Senator Corker for putting Tennessee ahead of Washington politics. These tariffs do a lot of damage to TN businesses. For my part, I call on every Democrat and Republican who cares about our state to stand with him on this.”

In an appearance on Fox Business News’ Mornings With Maria, Blackburn said, “we are watching [the situation] very closely. Of course, we know that the intention is to punish bad actors and not the American consumer. So, that is something everybody agrees on.”

Blackburn said, “we are concerned when it comes to auto manufacturers, auto-parts manufacturers, boat manufacturers that we have in Tennessee that use a tremendous amount of sheet aluminum. … You’ve got washing machine manufacturers that are there, and they’re concerned.”

When one of the hosts noted the steel and aluminum tariffs are already in effect, Blackburn said, “Right, and we’re talking to them [administration officials] every day. And we’re waiting to see exactly what’s going to happen, what exemptions are going to take place, and how this is going to come down.”

Blackburn noted “Donald Trump goes through a process in negotiating, so we’re in the conversation, talking to Commerce and Trade and, you know, still trying to work through this.”

The Tennessean reports that Bredesen and Blackburn, asked about the tariffs last week, gave the following responses:

“Washington needs a time out,” Bredesen said, likening broad tariffs to taking a “big ax” to a problem that needs a “scalpel.”

“The blow may be aimed at a real issue but usually creates lots of other damage in the process,” he said. “This is a perfect example of what happens when Washington takes some talking points that were dreamt up in a backroom somewhere removed from reality and tries to turn them into policy.”

… Blackburn, meanwhile, was less critical of the tariffs with a spokesman saying the congressman is concerned they could lead to a “bad deal for Tennesseans.”

Charles Flint, Blackburn’s chief of staff, said she would raise her concerns with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the U.S. trade office and members of Trump’s administration.

“Manufacturing and agriculture are central to Tennessee’s economy, and Congressman Blackburn is committed to ensuring continued growth and productivity that Tennesseans have experience due to the president’ tax cuts,” Flint said.

13 Responses to Corker working to block Trump tariffs with Bredesen’s blessing; Blackburn ‘still trying to work through this’

  • James White says:

    Marsha Blackburn is only concerned about the lobby money of the auto and other industries. She is stuck in a hard place. Support Trump or her Globalist friends at the Transatlantic Policy Network. She is a Fake NeoCon DeepState Conservative and votes for all the Sovereignty destroying “Free Trade” agreements.

  • Eddie White says:

    It appears that Bredesen has already come out in support of the “free trade” agreements. You appear to be against one candidate, but have no alternative that supports your view.

    • James White says:

      Trump appears to be against the “free trade” agreements. There are MANY candidates running for TN Senate.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        And if enough of us who aren’t liberals vote for the “. . .MANY candidates running for TN Senate” none of whom has a ghost of a chance of winning our next U. S. Senator will be named Senator Bredesen who will help elect our next Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer.

        Good thinking James!

        • James White says:

          It beats voting Against someone.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            We’re only doing that in the race for Governor in the Republican Primary by following the brilliantly conceived ANYBODY BUT BOYD strategy. On the other hand, Marsha with her lifetime Heritage score of 82% gets my enthusiastic vote.

          • James White says:

            Apparently the Heritage foundation doesn’t care about her votes to increase the debt (now at 21 TRILLION), or allow the Feds to Spy on citizens without a warrant, or a National ID, or For the UN, and for the WTO. Sounds like you need to find a more conservative site than the NeoCon Heritage Foundation.

        • Steve L. says:

          Great point, Stuart. A Heritage score of 82% is impressive. Go Blackburn!! And we have a $21 trillion debt because the citizens of the USA, as a whole, want to have that kind of debt. Pretty simple.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            The trouble with James is that he lacks perspective. No perspective regarding what is doable and no historical perspective. Regarding the latter, our current Senators’ Heritage scores finds Alexander 46% and Corker 64%. When you think about some of the Republicans Tennessee has sent to the Senate, Howard Baker, Bill Frist, even Fred Thompson, not exactly a whose who of great American conservatives.

            Marsha is not perfect. Perfect is Heritage 100% but a win for Marsha is most certainly a great win for the conservative movement. No one said we need stop there. After Marsha and her low 80’s score we can try to find her replacement who will do even better. This is more than three yards and a cloud of dust, Marsha would be a historic conservative pick-up.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    How STUPID CAN ANYBODY BE TO VOTE FOR BLACK,BLACHBURN,MATHENY,HARWELL,JOHN RAGAN,ALEXANDER,BRILEY,MCCORMICK,BLOWING. LOOKS LIKE A BUNCH OF PUPPETS TO ME.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    How STUPID CAN ANYBODY BE TO VOTE FOR BLACK,BLACHBURN,MATHENY,HARWELL,JOHN RAGAN,ALEXANDER,BRILEY,MCCORMICK,BLOWING. LOOKS LIKE A BUNCH OF PUPPETS TO ME FOR THE LOBBYIST,BIG MONEY AND SPECIAL INTEREST.

  • Kay White says:

    Thank you Tommy Ray for that point with the excption of Marsha Blackburn, we have to have her and Trump needs her. While, I do not disagree that in our history, Bredesen was a great Governor, much better than what we have had for the past eight years. But at this time in our present condition, in the United States, with a President who is draining the Swamp, we must not muddy the water by taking a chance that President would have a TN Senator who would agree with nut case Pelosi or Sen. Shumer! Marsha Blackburn will stand with the President. I have faith in our President’s negoiating behavior and he is a smart man who knows the other countries have robbed our country for years and he knows that in the end, they will either end our tarriffs or accept equal treatment. The booing at the rally should have told Senator Corker that the people of Tennessee are telling him that they are sick of his RINO ways. We need someone as our Senator and Governor who will put the needs of TN at the forefront of any decision that they make, not the desires of the special interest who have funded them and given them perks! If you help elect me, I will work my heart out to correct the wrongs that our Present Governor has made and work for you the people!

  • Eddie White says:

    Kay, could you specifically list those accomplishments that made Bredesen a great governor? Where did he stand on the life issue and the traditional family values that I know you care about?

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