March 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement that the United States will impose tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports:

“President Trump’s off-the-cuff decision to apply tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports is unprecedented,” said Rep. Espaillat. “To justify these ‘Trump Tariffs,’ the President cited national security concerns and provisions that have not been invoked since 1983.

“It is alarming as our nation’s allies, members of both political parties, and renowned trade experts agree that Donald Trump’s overzealous decision will adversely impact businesses and drive up costs for consumers. According to reports, the European Union—one of our nation’s most vital allies—announced it may retaliate with tariffs on jeans, food, alcohol, and motorcycles from American companies.

“Similar measures can be expected from our partners in Asia and Latin America, including countries like the Dominican Republic, where the United States enjoyed a trade surplus last year. The Dominican Republic has been providing aluminum products to help rebuild Puerto Rico – a tariff of this significance could dangerously impact these efforts.

“What we witnessed today is simply another example of Trump’s bullying tactics that endanger the well-being of both American and foreign workers. NAFTA negotiations are complex, consequential and already hang in the balance; with these potential tariffs leveraged against Canada and Mexico, the prospect of agreement may become nonviable.

“It is critical that Congress, the White House, and our allies around the world work together to ensure trade agreements are fair and reciprocal.  I urge President Trump and Secretary Ross to remove these tariffs and involve all stakeholders in future negotiations as we move forward.”

# # #

First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at