WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top lawmaker on tax issues in the U.S. House of Representatives cautiously praised President Donald Trump's new aluminum and steel tariffs on Thursday, saying Trump had improved his original proposal by granting some countries and businesses exemptions from the levies.

 

"Exempting Canada and Mexico is a good first step, and I urge the White House to go further to narrow these tariffs so they hit the intended target – and not U.S. workers, businesses, and families," House Ways and Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, who, like Trump, is a Republican, said in a statement. "As America’s economy and trading partners react to these new taxes, Congress – which has constitutional authority over trade with foreign nations – will continue to be actively engaged with the administration."

 

Brady and more than 100 House Republicans had pressed Trump on Wednesday to use narrowly focused tariffs to take action against China and other countries they said engaged in unfair trade.

 

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)