The Republican Infighting Begins—Pull Up A Chair!
As many in the GOP noted in the past election cycle Donald Trump is not a real Republican and certainly has not endorsed conservative economic policies. The fact that Trump is just not interested in policy and as evidenced by the campaign not moored in facts means that he can be out-maneuvered in the halls of congress–where party Republicans wield power. This story is but one that sets the stage.
Mr. Trump’s economic positions clashed with traditional conservatives during the campaign, but now these differences — on trade, government spending on infrastructure, and tax policies — have set the incoming president on a perilous course with the lawmakers whose support he needs to keep his agenda on track.
“There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35 percent for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border,” Mr. Trump said in a series of Twitter messages over the weekend.
The response from Republican leaders underscored the limits of legislating 140 characters at a time on Twitter, and gave Democrats cause to believe they can work with Mr. Trump to outmaneuver congressional Republicans next year.
Mr. Trump first startled Republicans during the campaign when he attacked trade deals, putting himself more in line with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont than Mr. Ryan.
He repeatedly insisted that trade deals had displaced American workers and harmed the economy, upending two centuries of American economic policies that held trade up as a good thing, a position that Republicans have pushed in recent decades.
His positions helped imperil President Obama’s trade pact with Asian nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and abruptly stop further trade negotiations, which many experts in both parties believe limits the United States in its economic position against China, especially when paired with tariff threats.
“I respect President-elect Trump for fulfilling his campaign promise to withdraw from T.P.P.,” Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said shortly after the election. “We can’t abandon these markets to China and other competitors, because American businesses and customers will lose out,” he added.