Senator Rand Paul has warned that the US is in grave danger of coming out second best if President Trump pursues a trade war through tariffs.
Appearing on Fox News, Paul outlined his disagreement with Trump’s trade proposals.
“[A] tariff is a tax, and typically Republicans, conservatives, have not been for more taxes. So, I’m against new tariffs. They’re simply a tax on the consumer.” the Senator said.
Paul argued that the tariff plan is “the wrong thing to do.”
“If you look at steel use in our country, there are 60 people purchasing steel for every person making steel in the country. So, there’s a lot of people who purchase steel that are going to be hurt by this.” the Senator explained.
“My state alone exports $20 billion worth of products, including a lot of farm and agricultural products. And if there’s a trade war, we stand to lose in a big way.” Paul continued.
“And really, the United States will lose in a trade war.” Paul urged.
Trump signaled last week that he will seek to impose sweeping tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum, in a bid to recoup billions of dollars lost each year, given that the US imports more than it exports from countries like China and Mexico.
When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
Elsewhere during the interview, Paul said that he has spoken with Trump regarding the subject of federal government access to American’s personal information.
“I think that nobody — nobody in law enforcement — should be looking at American’s information without first getting a warrant. That’s what I fought for, and we’re very close to winning that battle, and getting the bill and getting reform for FISA.” Paul said.
The Senator also raised the possibility of auditing the Federal Reserve, referring to an amendment he has recently added to the Senate Banking Bill.
“The Federal Reserve is incredibly powerful and what they’ve done for decades is to keep interest rates really low so government can keep borrowing and borrowing and borrowing money and that’s why we have this enormous twenty trillion dollar debt.” Paul said.
“When they keep interest rates low they prevent a useful signal from being distributed to the economy, and the economy gets into a boom and then ultimately a bust because of the Federal Reserve manipulating interest rates and keeping them below the market rate.” Paul added.
“So I think the Federal Reserve ought to be audited I think their power needs to be restrained and I think we should try to maintain value in the dollar instead of trying to destroy the dollar.” the Senator concluded.
Paul also told Reason in an interview that he believes he can convince Trump to sign the auditing legislation if he can get it through the Senate.