Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally emerged from his shell to join the chorus of Republicans who are not ready for a potential trade war that could result from the steel and aluminum tariffs the occupier of the Oval Office is proposing. Sort of.
“There is a lot of concern among Republican senators that this could sort of metastasize into sort of a larger trade war, and many of our members are discussing with the administration just how broad, how sweeping this might be,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters.
Well, that’s helpful. Does McConnell share that concern? Well, a lot of people are talking about it, so maybe?
He probably should be, concerning the threat a trade war could mean for his home state of Kentucky.
Kentucky is home to other industries—from car and appliance manufacturing to bourbon distilling—that could be harmed by the tariffs, especially if they end up sparking a trade war. […]
“You are talking about a lot of second- and third-round effects, and I am nervous, because we don’t know what that might be,” said Janet Kelly, director of the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville. “… I don’t think you’ll ever find an economist who thinks that tariffs or restrictions on free trade are a nifty idea.”
On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp. said the metal tariffs would increase the prices of cars and trucks sold in America. Toyota’s largest U.S. factory is in Georgetown, Ky., where the Camry sedan is made.
Louisville’s GE Appliances uses a lot of steel in the refrigerators, dishwashers and other household products it makes at Appliance Park in Louisville. Higher steel prices could mean more expensive appliances, reduced production or lower profits.
“We are still evaluating the impact of the new tariffs on our business, quite frankly,” said Bill Good, the executive who oversees manufacturing and logistics for GE Appliances.
That’s a lot for McConnell to think about, apparently. So he’s not going to be rushing into leadership or anything. He has too much invested in Trump on the stuff that he really cares about, like winning the next election and stacking the courts with extremest ideologues.