July 24, 2018 / 3:11 PM / 10 months ago

House Speaker says tariffs not right tool for unfair trade

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks with reporters during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday that tariffs are taxes and are not the right tool to counter unfair trading practices by other countries, signaling opposition to an earlier statement by President Donald Trump.

Trump’s goal to achieve better trade deals and a better deal for Americans was a good one, but “I think tariffs are taxes and I think there are better tools that we can use,” Ryan told reporters.

Trump said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that “Tariffs are the greatest!” because they force countries to negotiate fair trade deals or pay.

In a speech to a veterans group in Kansas City, Missouri, later on Tuesday, Trump urged those concerned about his tariff policies to “just be a little patient.”

Reporting by Amanda Becker; writing by David Alexander; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Susan Thomas

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