ELKHART, IND. - Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on Mexico as "random dart throwing" that lacks a coherent strategy.
Trump unexpectedly told Mexico last week to take a harder line on curbing illegal immigration or face 5% tariffs on all its exports to the United States, rising to as much as 25% later in the year. On Tuesday, Trump said he expected to impose the tariffs as of Monday.
"Trump's random dart throwing ain't helping anybody," Warren, a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, told reporters after a campaign event in Elkhart, Indiana.
Moments earlier, before a crowd of about 600 in the town with a large manufacturing sector, Warren assailed companies that are moving production abroad. While that echoed Trump's criticism, she faulted his approach.
"Lets be clear -- tariff policy by tweet does not work," Warren said. "Randomly raising tariffs on a handful of goods with no coherent policy and doing it nation by nation makes no sense at all."
Warren is one of more than 20 Democrats vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in the November 2020 election.
Mexican officials will seek to persuade the White House in talks hosted by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday that their government has done enough to stem immigration and avoid looming tariffs. The tariff fight merges two of Trump's biggest campaign promises, on immigration and fair trade.
"Nobody goes into battle by themselves when they can be stronger by having allies in it," Warren said, calling for a "coherent trade policy."
Other Candidates Weigh In
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is also running to be a Democratic presidential nominee, criticized Trump for creating "chaos" by creating the tariffs and promising more.
"That's the kind of chaos he likes," Klobuchar said in an appearance on CNN on Tuesday. "And I just think that's not how you embark on international diplomacy with one of our best allies.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, another Democratic presidential hopeful, had a similar criticism.
"This president has no plan and no ability to have a thoughtful approach towards trade or the economy," Gillibrand said on Monday in a town hall on Fox News. "Because if he wanted to reduce the trade deficit, he's only grown it."