Utah senators slam Trump's import tariffs

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's U.S. senators say the president's Thursday order hiking tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will hurt American workers.

Sen. Orrin Hatch called the decision "misguided" in a statement, saying it undermines benefits of the tax overhaul he sponsored and won't help the United States stay competitive in the global market. Hatch said "it’s unfortunate that this decision will have harmful implications for American businesses, workers and consumers who rely on these products." He will urge President Donald Trump's administration to reconsider the decision, he said.

Sen. Mike Lee agreed, saying he seeks to work with his colleagues in Congress to boost their authority to prevent the tariffs from being enforced.

He characterized the change in a prepared statement as "a tax hike on the American people — one that will harm both workers and consumers."

Lee said he is sympathetic to U.S. steel manufacturers but believes there are better ways to address the steel industry's concerns. He did not elaborate.

Other Utah leaders have echoed the concerns, including Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican Representatives Mia Love and Chris Stewart. Also in agreement is Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, a Democrat. Congressional Representatives John Curtis and Rob Bishop, however, said earlier in the week that the tariffs may be appropriate to help manufacturers.

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