Trump Defends Steel, Aluminum Tariffs: 'Trade Wars Are Good and Easy to Win'

Posted: Mar 02, 2018 8:05 AM
Trump Defends Steel, Aluminum Tariffs: 'Trade Wars Are Good and Easy to Win'

President Trump took to Twitter Friday morning to defend his plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, arguing that sometimes “trade wars are good.”

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he said. “Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

He followed up later in the morning, writing, "We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!"

Trump announced Thursday his plan to sign new tariffs, with steel being taxed at 25 percent and aluminum at 10 percent.

"It'll be for a long period of time," he said during a meeting with more than a dozen steel and aluminum industry executives. "We'll be signing it next week. And you'll have protection for a long time in a while. You'll have to regrow your industries, that's all I'm asking."

The move was roundly criticized by Republican lawmakers, however, with several speaking out Thursday.

"I love the president. I think he's done a terrific job up to now. This could turn everything the other way," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Finance Committee, who added that the tariffs are “not going to help America.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, also slammed the administration’s decision, calling it "disastrous."

"This is leftist economic policy. And we've tried it a bunch of times over the last two centuries," he said. "And every time, American families have suffered. It is bad policy."

The announcement also spooked the markets, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping more than 400 points Thursday.