Democratic congressional candidate Brandon Brown said he is disappointed in South Carolina’s U.S. senators for not speaking out against President Donald Trump’s policies on tariffs.
Brown, who faces Republican state Sen. William Timmons in the fall in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, said Thursday tariffs equal a tax increase for American consumers and will have an adverse affect on a wide range of industries. He held a news conference in Greenville to address his concerns.
Brown told the Herald-Journal on Thursday he believed Trump’s use of tariffs as threats in the renegotiation of trade deals was a “misguided and irresponsible policy.” He also questioned why U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans, have not spoken out against the tariffs imposed or threatened by the Trump administration.
“Trump’s actions are hurting our state,” Brown said. “The tariffs will hurt our economy across the board and will have a very harmful impact on our economy in the Upstate.”
Brown said South Carolina’s representatives in Washington should do more to protect the state’s economy against potentially harmful trade policies.
“We send people to Washington, D.C., to put South Carolina first and not their political party first,” Brown said. “His policies are bad for South Carolina and bad for our business interests.”
Retaliatory tariffs could have long-lasting effects on the the country’s auto industry and agricultural producers, Brown said, citing the importance of BMW Manufacturing Co. He also talked about the potential ripple effect tariffs could have down the automotive supply chain.
Timmons said he supports Trump’s strong stand on using tariffs as a trade tool.
“I think the U.S. has been getting the short end of the stick,” Timmons said. “The tariffs are a reasonable approach to renegotiate deals. We can’t be in a global economy and not deal. This is a way to right the ship.”
Timmons said he hoped Trump’s strategy using tariffs would be short-term, because there is the possibility of adverse effects on some industries. For now, Timmons said he supports Trump’s actions.
“I think what he’s done has helped bring people to the table,” Timmons said. “It’s going to help renegotiate international trade deals successfully.”
American Party candidate Guy Furay, who is also running for the state’s 4th Congressional District, did not immediately respond to calls on Thursday.