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Sen. King Reacts to Import Tariffs; Like Using a 'Chainsaw' When What's Needed is a 'Scalpel'

Maine Public
Sen. Angus King 2012

President Donald Trump is expected to announce his steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday afternoon. U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine told CNN Thursday morning there is little doubt he will announce the import tariffs.

"I think the remaining question is, whether he's going to narrow the focus and focus on China, for example, or is it gonna be this blunderbuss approach that hits our allies harder than it hits China?" he said.

King, an independent, said he does agree with Trump that some trade agreements made in the past do need to be renegotiated to create fairer trade conditions for Americans.

"I think there are definitely areas where we need to renegotiate some of these trade agreements,” he said. “I don't think they're fair to the United States. This is a place where, I think, the president's on the right track.”

The question, King said, is "how do you do it." He said it is like using a "chainsaw" when what's needed is a "scalpel."

King said he's already heard from Maine manufacturers who've seen steel prices rise in anticipation of the tariffs Trump is expected to announce.

"The Europeans are already talking about retaliation,” he said. “This is where ugly things can happen when you unleash something like this without sufficient talking to the defense department, the state department, the other countries, the allies."

King said he worries the tariffs on imported steel may cost the United States more jobs than it saves.