Trump says ‘trade wars are good, easy to win’

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President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Washington. From left, John Ferriola of Nucor, Trump, and Dave Burritt of U.S. Steel Corporation.

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump spoke out defiantly Friday against global criticism of his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, seeming to welcome the idea of a trade war.

“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 in an early morning tweet.

“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!” the president wrote.

“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!”, he further tweeted.

After weeks of rumours and counter-rumours about his administration’s intentions, Trump on Thursday announced he would sign off on measures designed to protect US producers next week.

The tariffs, 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, cover two materials that are the lifeblood of the construction and manufacturing sectors.

The announcement was greeted with fury within key US trading allies such as Canada, the EU, Australia and Mexico, as well as rival China.

It also caused jitters across global stock markets.