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Trump’s tariffs could spark trade war, Florida Chamber warns

The statewide pro-business group warns of a negative impact on Florida as a global trade hub.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, a statewide business group closely aligned with Gov. Rick Scott, warned Tuesday that new tariffs could spark a trade war and hurt Florida jobs and families.

President Donald Trump has proposed steel and aluminum tariffs on some of America's closest allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

"The increasing prospect of a trade war could put Florida's economy at risk and negatively impact consumers, families and jobs," the Chamber warned in a statement. The group said unfair trade practices by "bad actors" are best addressed "in a targeted and focused manner."

"Extending the tariffs to our allies and trade and investment partners is triggering harmful targeted retaliation," the group said.

Scott's rival in the U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, employed the trade war analogy three months ago. Scott has been more tempered in his rhetoric, saying "It is important that we have free trade but it has to be fair."

Florida's other senator, Republican Marco Rubio, did not respond to a recent request for comment and tweeted that America's trade inequities with the E.U. must be addressed and that the U.S. and Europe should team up and confront China on trade.