WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, talked about the immigration crisis at the southern border and the use of tariffs as a negotiating tool during an interview on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ Excerpts from his interview are below and video can be found here.
“I think just in general Republicans understand that tariffs are a tax on American consumers and we don't want to see them in place long-term, nor do I believe President Trump does either. He's using tariffs as leverage in trade negotiations and I think he used them as leverage in the situation brilliantly, quite honestly.”
“We have not been treated fairly by our trading partners whether it's Europe, whether it’s Mexico, whether it's China. Of course, China is the main abuser here. The president had to get their attention, but I think the president also realizes that the clock is running out. We need to conclude these deals because some of the damage will be long-term.”
“[China] are the main abusers of the system. I would rather have a united world demanding that China abide by the rules. But at the same time, we do need to make sure our other trading partners treat us fairly and with real reciprocal treatment.”
On the border crisis
“One thing that’s not being talked about enough is the involuntary servitude associated with this. The human trafficking. It's out of control. When we were down at the border just last week, 25 to 33 percent of these families are fraudulent families.”
“What we need to do is we need to change our laws so that we can rapidly and more accurately determine those individuals that clearly don't have a valid asylum claim and safely return them to the home country. There has to be a consequence. We can't let this go uncontrolled the way it is.”
“It is growing exponentially and that's why the president had to act, because Mexico has not been acting and certainly Congress is not. We really are calling on Democrats: work with us. This is not a manufactured crisis. This is a problem we have to solve and it is growing out of control.”