President Donald Trump faced unusually blunt criticism from within his own party, as one of the U.S. House's top lawmakers urged him to restart negotiations to stop a costly trade battle with China.
Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who heads the powerful Ways and Means Committee, called on Trump to meet Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and hash out an agreement to settle their trade differences. Brady warned that further escalation, such as the administration's latest move to levy tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, risked a multiyear fight that "that engulfs more and more of the globe."
"Despite the serious economic consequences of ever-increasing tariffs, today there are no serious trade discussions occurring between the U.S. and China, no plans for trade negotiations anytime soon, and seemingly little action toward a solution," Brady said in a statement late Tuesday.
The Trump administration had earlier announced what products would be hit by a new 10 percent levy on Chinese products, including consumer items such as clothing, television components and refrigerators. Hours later, China's Commerce Ministry said the U.S. tariffs were "totally unacceptable" and would force the country retaliate, without saying how.
The action was also criticized by U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, who said it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach."
"This action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China," Hatch said in a statement.