Speaking to Bowling Green business leaders Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, called President Donald Trump’s plan to levy escalating tariffs on Mexico “a bad idea” that would ultimately hurt American consumers.

“It’s a $17 billion increase in taxes, and I think it’s bad for Kentucky and bad for business,” Paul said during a roundtable event at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. and Mexican officials labored for a second day Thursday to avoid import tariffs Trump threatened to impose to strong-arm Mexico into curbing Central American migration to America’s southern border, The Associated Press reported.

If talks fail, a 5 percent tax on all Mexican goods imported into the U.S. would go into effect Monday, with monthly increases to follow until the tariffs reach 25 percent, according to Trump.

During the roundtable discussion, Paul also took questions on health care, trade with China, immigration and reforming entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.

Addressing tariffs on Mexican imports, Paul said it could hurt America’s economy and threaten progress on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The latest deal has been signed by all three countries but needs to be authorized by their legislatures.

“It disrupts the USMCA deal that they spent two years doing,” Paul said. “The USMCA deal is good for our autoworkers, is good for our automobile manufacturers and I haven’t met anybody in Kentucky who doesn’t want it.”

Paul also opposed the move on constitutional grounds, adding that even though he supports Trump, “I don’t want him to have too much power because there needs to be checks and balances.

“There’s a separation of powers and the reason is so one person doesn’t accumulate too much power,” he said.

Trump faces growing opposition to the tariffs from his own party in Congress, which he has pushed back against.

A “lot of people, senators included – they have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to tariffs,” Trump said, according to the AP. “They have no – absolutely no idea.”

Speaking Thursday, Paul reiterated that Congress should hold the line against the move.

“I think we need to resist that for constitutional reasons and also (it’s) not good for our economy,” he said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdaily news.com.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(5) comments

Enough Already

Now that the Mexicans have caved and we have some effort on their part to stem the flood of illegals across the border AND we didn't have to raise the tariffs to get their cooperation maybe Senator Paul will shut his mouth instead of siding with Democrats, but I doubt it. Like most politicians he is for cheap labor no matter the cost to the citizens. If we lose the border fight with Mexico we won't have a country.

BGBlizzards

President Trump this evening: “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!“ Thank God for President Trump.

BGBlizzards

So tariffs on foreign products means higher costs for American consumers. But don’t stop there. Higher costs for foreign products means American products/companies can compete again. How exactly, Senator Paul, is that a ‘bad idea’ and ‘bad for our economy’? Whose best interest are you fighting for... ours or Mexico’s?

AllieK

Didn't Senator Paul also indicate he didn't believe there was an emergency at the Southern Border? Shameful...

BGBlizzards

Exactly. Add to that the fact that POTUS is a successful international business man (unlike Rand Paul) and has seen much. POTUS also has lived through more administrations so knows what has worked and what hasn't. Sometimes I really wonder what on earth is wrong with Senator Paul...

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