Romney opposes tariffs, says let states decide on guns, school safety

Senate candidate Mitt Romney speaks to a small crowd in Lehi. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - Tariffs and guns---Mitt Romney has taken a firm stand on one and said the let the states decide on the other.

“Tariffs, by and large, are not going to be good for people here in Utah,” said Romney in a 2News interview on Thursday in Lehi. “Tariffs mean that prices of goods we buy here are going to be more expensive.”

His comments came a couple of hours before President Trump signed orders to impose a 25% tariff on steel coming into the country and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.

The president exempted Mexico and Canada, at least for now, while both countries are in talks with the U.S. to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He said the orders are about fairness in trade and will lead to more jobs in more domestic mills, while others predicted the tariffs could spark a trade war that will hurt the U.S. economy.

Labor unions and the CEO of Nucor Steel, which has operations in northern Utah, reportedly support the new tariffs.

Romney said Utah exports more than it imports, and that if a company or country is “not playing fair, then having a tariff that goes after them makes sense.” He cited a recent tariff on solar panels coming from China as an example.

On guns and school safety, another issue prompting debate across the country in the wake of the Florida shooting, Romney maintained the federal government has a role in firearms background checks, but that states should take the lead.

“Florida can do what’s right for Florida,” he said. “Utah can do what’s right for Utah.”

In Florida, lawmakers passed legislation this week which would reportedly raise the age to buy a gun to 21, mandate a three day waiting period, ban ‘bump stocks,’ and give police more power to take guns away from people deemed to be a threat.

The last provision was proposed here in Utah, but the bill died in a legislative committee.

“Do you have a position on raising the age to 21 to buy a gun?” 2News asked Romney.

“Again, each state is going to decide what’s right for their own citizens,” he replied, adding during an audience question and answer session at the Lehi Legacy Rec Center, “with regard to gun laws, and school safety and school access, I’d rather have the Legislature in Utah make informed decisions.”

Gun owner Annie Pearson came to see and listen to Romney, said she likes him, but is not certain she will vote for him in the race for U.S. Senate.

“What did you think of his answer on guns?” asked 2News.

“I thought it was good, maybe a little vague for what I was looking for,” she said.

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