House Speaker Paul Ryan said the tariffs President Donald Trump imposed “risk having jobs being moved overseas and we risk a decline in American influence” during a speech at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday.
“We have to continue to pursue new agreements while we strengthen our existing ones,” Ryan said. “We risk having jobs being moved overseas and we risk a decline in American influence. All of this matters. As our generals will tell you, these agreements are just as important for our national security as they are for our economy.”
He added the Trump administration is “right” to be vocal about trade abuses, but new tariffs aren’t the answer.
“This administration has been vocal about trade abuses taking place and they are right to be,” he said. “They do take place. There are unquestionably bad actors, most notably China, but I’ve made my view clear, new tariffs are not the solution.”
He also told reporters during a question and answer session he doesn’t know if the House will pick immigration back up because they’re waiting for court rulings.
Ryan, who will retire at the end of his term, said he wouldn’t take a job in Trump’s Cabinet if he were to offer it to him because he wants to spend more time with his kids.
“My kids have only known me as a weekend dad,” he said. “I do not want to squander these moments.”
Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, also reiterated that he has no plans to run for president.
“I really, really do not have it in my mind. And for sure not while my kids are at home. They’re home for the next five years,” he said. “I’ll be a has-been by then.”