House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday defended the administration for leveraging tariffs on close allies as “standing up” for free trade.
“We are in the middle of a trade discussion. Nobody wants to be in a trade war. Nobody wins a trade war,” the California Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But we are standing up for the process of where we're moving forward that we have fair trade.”
President Donald Trump last week announced tariffs on metal imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, prompting each to announce they are considering retaliatory tariffs. Other Republicans have attacked the tariffs, including Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who tweeted that he was looking for “ways to push back on the president using authorities in ways never intended and that are damaging to our country and our allies.”
McCarthy pointed to specifics in the trade imbalance, even with one of America’s closest allies.
“If you are talking about Canada, look what they do when it comes to our dairy products,” he said. “Our wine cannot sit on their supermarkets.”
On the same show, Chrystia Freeland, minister of foreign affairs for Canada expressed anger over the situation.
“This is a really sad time for us. We are hurt, and we are insulted,” she said.
During the CNN interview, McCarthy also repeatedly called for an end to the Russia investigation, saying that the White House has cooperated and that investigators have found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“What I was concerned most about, like most Americans, was there any collusion? There was no collusion. This has gone on for more than a year. It's been investigated in so many different manners,” McCarthy told host Dana Bash, who asked him White House lies in regards to a statement Donald Trump Jr. issued.
“Let them walk through their investigation,” he added in response to her follow-up question. “But I think, if there is no collusion, it’s time to wind this down.”