The US Senate made a minor effort to push back against President Donald Trump’s trade policies on Wednesday by backing a non-binding motion to give Congress a role in his decisions to impose tariffs for national security reasons.
The vote was 88-11 in favor of the measure, part of an effort led by some of Trump’s fellow Republicans who support free trade to resist the president’s escalating effort to address what he sees as unfair foreign trade.
They worry that trade disputes with China, as well as with allies like western European nations and Canada, could damage the US economy by harming US employers and raising prices for consumers.
The vote came as China accused the United States of bullying and warned it would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes in a trade dispute by threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
However, the Senate’s Republican leaders have not yet allowed a binding vote on legislation introduced in June to require congressional approval of any tariffs imposed for national security reasons.