Montana's two Republicans in Congress, Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte, both expressed concerns Thursday about President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, with Gianforte coming down hard on the plan.
“I’ve been reaching out to Montana farmers, ranchers, value-added manufacturers, and other ag leaders, and they’re concerned. These tariffs are a bad idea, because they could lead to Montana ag products being shut out of foreign markets.They also will drive up costs for America’s manufacturers and serve as a tax that increases prices for Montanans. I hope the president will reconsider implementing these tariffs," Gianforte said in a statement.
Trump announced Thursday he would place tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, which has trade experts and members of both parties worried will launch the U.S. into a trade war.
The trade proclamation exempts Mexico and Canada from the tariffs, but Trump hinted they could included depending on negotiations of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
Daines said he was happy Trump is backing away from broader tariffs.
“I support the President’s efforts to make better trade deals for the American worker. I am relieved he has more narrowly tailored our trade sanctions, than originally proposed, however, I remain concerned that tariffs will increase costs on Montana working families, farmers and ranchers. Free, fair and smart trade is vital to protecting millions of good-paying jobs across our country,” Daines said in a statement.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana has stated he doesn't like the uncertainty the tariffs place on Montana's ag industry.