Senate Delivers Symbolic Rebuke to Trump on Tariffs

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday in favor of a non-binding resolution aimed at rolling back President Donald Trump’s authority to impose national-security tariffs. The 88 to 11 vote represented a symbolic rebuke of the Trump administration’s trade policies. Republicans and Democrats alike have been critical of the president’s use of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to unilaterally impose tariffs for national-security reasons. The resolution, introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came after Corker and his allies tried unsuccessfully to convince Senate Republican leaders to vote on his binding legislation that would require Congress to approve tariffs imposed on national security grounds. Republican leaders—many of whom have warned that the president’s tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other imports could lead to an all-out trade war—have refused to bring Corker’s bill to the floor, arguing that it would not be prudent to pass something that would upset the president in an election year. “We will continue to push for a binding vote and are hopeful one will be scheduled in the near future,” Corker said after Wednesday’s vote.

—Andrew Desiderio