Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) gave a stern warning to President Trump on Monday regarding his recent statements on trade. Flake declared that trade wars “are not won, only lost.”
“Free trade is not a zero-sum game. Mexico and Canada have benefitted handsomely from NAFTA — and so have we. Trade wars are not won, only lost,” Flake wrote on Twitter.
President Trump last week announced plans to begin tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. Many in Washington, as well as global markets, were rattled by the proposal. The president also talked about the possibility of a trade war, saying “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”
Trump went even further on Monday posting on Twitter that his administration’s tariff plans “will only come off” if Mexico and Canada reach a “new and fair” North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S.
“We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs,” Trump said.
President Trump frequently criticized trade deals like NAFTA on the campaign trail in 2016. He argued that they hurt American workers.
Flake, a constant critic of the president, said on Friday that he wouldn’t rule out a 2020 challenge to Trump. Flake all but promised that Trump would have a challenger from the Republican Party.
“I do think the president will have a challenge from the Republican Party, I think there should be,” Flake said. “I also think that there will be an independent challenge, particularly if the Democrats insist on putting somebody up from the far left of the party.”
Credit: The Hill