On the tariffs, Flake said Trump had introduced "dual poisons" for the economy, by erecting new trade barriers and then introducing uncertainty by suggesting he might make some exceptions for certain countries.
Flake, one of the GOP's most outspoken Trump critics, is stoking speculation about his 2020 plans with a Friday appearance in New Hampshire as part of the "Politics & Eggs" speaker series, which draws presidential hopefuls to the first-in-the-nation primary state. Mr Trump's tariffs, announced on Thursday and expected to take effect on March 24, "will not trigger a crisis or an explosion in the US-UAE relationship", said Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council.
"I am not afraid of tariffs", she said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program.
"Yes, I do ― I do", Flake said.
Trump frequently attacked multilateral trade deals as a presidential candidate, contending that "unfair" trade relationships with allies have hurt US workers and citing hefty USA trade deficits as evidence. "Somebody who voices, you know, reservations about where the president is or criticizes his behavior like last night, it's tough to be reelected in a Republican primary".
But Flake says "that's not to say it will stay that way". Those who have expressed admiration for free trade, for supply-side economics ought to support this bill as well. "We need to aggressively negotiate both bilateral and multilateral trade deals, because we're going to be left behind". But Democrats have struck a more measured tone, as many members of the party's progressive wing have always been critical of free trade agreements they believe harm United States workers.
Flake also reiterated his belief that Trump's behavior as president, such as continuing to verbally abuse the media, "does real damage long term to the political culture" and should not be normalized.