Trump loses Dem backing as China crackdown grinds on

Trump loses Dem backing as China crackdown grinds on

“I would focus everything on China. And get the Europeans, Canadians and Mexicans to be on our side and focus on China. Because they are the great danger.” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images trade Trump loses Dem backing as China crackdown grinds on Democrats who have long blasted China’s trade policies aren’t supporting the president’s tariffs. By BURGESS EVERETT and HEATHER CAYGLE 05/14/2019 07:25 PM EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Democrats have pushed President Donald Trump for months to take a tougher stance toward China on trade. But now that Trump has taken their advice, he finds himself on an island with no lifeline from Democrats. In interviews with a dozen House and Senate Democrats from the Midwest and in leadership, most lawmakers refused to back Trump’s offensive against China, particularly as he’s kept tariffs on U.S. allies. Story Continued Below Even those most willing to praise Trump on trade have been notably reserved. “We should not be having a multifront war on tariffs,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Trump’s closest Democratic ally on the topic. “I would focus everything on China. And get the Europeans, Canadians and Mexicans to be on our side and focus on China. Because they are the great danger.” Schumer has repeatedly urged Trump publicly and privately to “stay tough,” including in a meeting at the White House in April. Later Tuesday, the New York Democrat said he doesn’t “fully agree” with Trump’s approach of imposing tariffs on allies as well as China and warned the president from coming up with a “weak solution.” POLITICO Playbook newsletter Sign up today to receive the #1-rated newsletter in politics Email Sign Up By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi — like Schumer, a China hawk for decades — told reporters Monday that Trump’s action toward Beijing is “in recognition that something needed to be done.” But she again criticized the president for “antagonizing” Europe with a separate series of tariffs last year instead of trying to join with European Union allies to pressure China. “I wish him success in the negotiation. But as I say, we have to use our leverage without antagonizing those who are on our side on this,” she said. Schumer and Pelosi have not been alone in egging Trump on: A number of Democrats who have soured on free trade deals have offered rare praise for Trump’s trade policies. But now that Trump is embroiled in a trade war with China, there’s very little Democratic support for him — and the party is reluctant to give the president any bipartisan cover, particularly if the tariffs end up doing real harm to the economy. “I still hope he can reach an agreement, but I don’t know. He’s pretty unaware of the damage they’re doing if they don’t get an agreement soon,”
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