Ryan proposes 'smarter way' than Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs

Congressional Republicans want Trump to back off his tariff proposal.

Ryan, who Monday warned of a possible trade war if Trump carried out his threat, was just one of several Republicans publicly suggesting the president instead target tariffs specifically on "abusers" of U.S. trade policies, especially China, which has been accused of dumping steel and aluminum exports or selling them at an unfairly low price in foreign markets.

“There's a big overcapacity problem,” Ryan said during a news conference Tuesday. “Let's go focus on the abusers of that, and that is why we think the proper approach is a more surgical approach so that we do not have unintended consequences.”

“These tariffs really let China off the hook,” Graham said, noting that they could hurt the export of BMWs made in his home state.

“That was, as I understand it, not the announcement,” he said, referring to the Thursday event - a meeting with industry executives - in which Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent one on aluminum. “I know they're still looking at it. We'll see what the tariffs are. We don't know yet,” Portman added.

“It seems like a very strange action at this time,” Hatch said, talking to reporters about Trump's proposal following a hearing.

During the hearing, Hatch warned that the action would blunt the benefits of the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill Congress recently passed.

Congress could pass a bill blocking the president from imposing tariffs on specific industries for a specified duration, but it would likely need to have enough support - two-thirds of the House and Senate - to overcome a presidential veto, assuming Trump rejects such a rebuke to his decision.

ABC News' John Parkinson contributed to this report.