President Donald Trump's plan to place steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum is hitting a raw nerve in the energy industry, which has been racing to lay enough pipelines to accommodate booming U.S oil production.
Alaska Republican Senator Daniel Sullivan, speaking at IHS Markit's annual CERAWeek energy conference on Monday, said he disagrees with the sweeping tariffs on all trade partners and said they would raise costs for the energy sector. Sullivan is active in setting U.S. energy infrastructure policy and introduced the Rebuild America Now Act.
"There's a way to do it that focuses on the problem — the real problem — which is China, and do it in a way that we align ourselves with our allies, not alienate them, and I worry that this approach right now could have the opposite effect," said Sullivan.
Sullivan applauded Trump for trying to tackle the problem of cheap steel imports, but said the Trump administration should unite U.S. partners around the goal of addressing overcapacity in China's steel industry. He said Trump could also aim to disrupt transshipment of Chinese steel, in which countries avoid tariffs by purchasing Chinese supplies, refabricating them slightly and sending them to the United States.
In a trade war, Sullivan says he worries foreign countries could punish his state by slapping tariffs on products like seafood and energy supplies.