Trump digs in despite market slide: 'Trade wars are good'

President Donald Trump dug into his protectionist trade position on Friday, arguing that trade wars can be good and v...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 3:01 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 3:01 PM

President Donald Trump dug into his protectionist trade position on Friday, arguing that trade wars can be good and vowing to slap reciprocal tariffs on any goods even as his actions rattle markets and anger US allies.

The tweets were a retrenchment of long-standing views on trade that Trump hopes will rally his base and spur job creation in the United States. But the views have worried investors -- markets opened sharply lower -- and even some of Trump's own advisers have resisted the harsh new actions.

"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," Trump wrote on Twitter early Friday.

He added, "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!"

Later Friday, he tweeted: "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!"

The series continued later Friday morning when Trump floated the prospect of tit-for-tat tariffs on products entering the US.

"When a country Taxes our products coming in at, say, 50%, and we Tax the same product coming into our country at ZERO, not fair or smart," Trump wrote.

"We will soon be starting RECIPROCAL TAXES so that we will charge the same thing as they charge us. $800 Billion Trade Deficit-have no choice!"

The flurry of trade-related dispatches came a day after Trump announced he would soon impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum. The announcement caught investors off guard and immediately raised concerns about retaliation from China or other major US trading partners.

The Dow closed down 420 points Thursday and both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 dropped about 1.3%. Futures on Friday morning indicated that the market was in for another rough day.

It's unclear if certain countries would be exempt from the tariffs, but Trump said in a meeting with industry executives, "People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries."

The President's move to make good on a campaign promise has sharply divided his economic advisers. Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, expressed concern Thursday and asked that Trump reconsider to avoid "unintended consequences" and retaliation that could ultimately hurt American companies and workers.

But Trump is "pretty committed to moving this forward" and has not been phased by the stock market's reaction, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Sanders told reporters Friday she doesn't expect the tariff percentages that Trump announced to change as the policy is being written up for him to sign next week, "but some of the other details have to be finalized."

The European Union and Canada, a big supplier of steel to the US, both condemned the President's decision and hinted at retaliation. China could slap its own tariffs on American imports to the country, potentially harming US farmers since China is the biggest buyer of US soybeans.

American manufacturers also depend on selling their products abroad and could be hurt by tariffs enforced overseas by retaliating countries.

Trump's tariffs would also likely raise the prices of common aluminum products in the US -- such as beer cans and household appliances -- assuming the manufacturing companies decide to pass the cost of the tax on to customers, which is the historical trend.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 78°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 78°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
A magnificent Monday with sunshine and mild temperatures
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 771299

Reported Deaths: 14005
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1059471808
Lake570611031
Allen43193700
Hamilton37458426
St. Joseph37420568
Elkhart29819471
Tippecanoe23584231
Vanderburgh23431405
Porter19616327
Johnson18899394
Hendricks18168323
Clark13623199
Madison13604348
Vigo12908256
Monroe12626178
LaPorte12594225
Delaware11183198
Howard10747237
Kosciusko9810124
Hancock8799150
Bartholomew8296157
Warrick8150157
Floyd8072183
Grant7397181
Wayne7254201
Boone7236105
Morgan6948143
Marshall6358117
Dubois6301118
Cass6110112
Dearborn604078
Noble603590
Henry5971111
Jackson518677
Shelby512898
Lawrence4961127
Gibson467296
Montgomery461392
Clinton458455
DeKalb458485
Harrison456977
Huntington421382
Whitley418645
Steuben412861
Miami407273
Jasper402556
Knox393191
Putnam386862
Wabash371684
Adams355356
Ripley352771
Jefferson347187
White340954
Daviess3098100
Wells304881
Greene295985
Decatur293493
Fayette287464
Posey285435
Scott283458
LaGrange278472
Clay276049
Washington255637
Randolph248283
Jennings240449
Spencer239731
Fountain237250
Starke230859
Owen224759
Sullivan222943
Fulton209545
Jay203432
Carroll198822
Orange192756
Perry191939
Vermillion181944
Rush178627
Tipton173848
Franklin173035
Parke156816
Pike143434
Blackford138232
Pulaski124048
Newton123736
Benton110515
Brown106443
Crawford106316
Martin92715
Warren88015
Switzerland8488
Union73710
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events