Speaking from the White House during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven Tuesday afternoon, President Trump again brushed aside concerns of a trade war if he implements tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
"We'll have to see. You know, when we're behind on every single country, trade wars aren't so bad," Trump said when asked about how he is working to avoid a trade war. "We've been mistreated as a country for many years and it's just not going to happen anymore."
"We are doing tariffs on steel. We cannot lose our steel industry, it is a fraction of what it once was. And we can't lose our aluminum industry, also a fraction of what it once was," Trump continued reiterating his offer to take tariffs off the table for Canada and Mexico in exchange for a new NAFTA deal. "There’s a theory that, if a country doesn’t have steel, it doesn’t have a country."
Prime Minister Löfven was also asked about the tariffs and said he respects President Trump's view, but believes a trade war and tariffs will hurt Sweden and the European Union long term.
"I think it's important for us to try to find a way to cooperate between the European Union and the United States," Lofven said.
President Trump is expected to sign a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum sometime this week.