Trump defends tariffs amid jittery markets

President Donald Trump on Friday morning defended his tariffs against China despite market concerns, at one point say...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 3:08 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 3:09 PM

President Donald Trump on Friday morning defended his tariffs against China despite market concerns, at one point saying, "we've already lost the trade war."

The President took to Twitter and a radio interview to make his case after he threatened tariffs on $100 billion more in Chinese goods.

"We've already lost the trade war. We don't have a trade war. We've already lost," Trump told WABC radio, noting the US trade deficit with China and the country's theft of US intellectual property.

Amid jittery markets -- Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down more than 250 points Friday morning -- Trump acknowledged in the interview that "I'm not saying there's not going to be any pain" but insisted, "we're going to be much stronger for it."

He also blamed what he said was inaction by previous administration on the matter, saying, "we had no choice." The President added that he had "a lot of respect" for his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and said "I hope we work it out."

He also tweeted Friday morning, "Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%. People are surprised, I'm not! Lots of money coming into U.S. coffers and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!"

Aluminum prices are down since the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, announced last month, went into effect. But some economists think that the possibility of a trade war slowing the global economy might also be a factor in driving prices down.

Earlier this week, the US announced plans for new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, claiming that China is stealing US intellectual property. China responded within hours by announcing plans for $50 billion worth of tariffs on US exports.

In a statement Thursday, Trump said he instructed the United States Trade Representative to determine whether tariffs on $100 billion more in Chinese goods would be appropriate "in light of China's unfair retaliation."

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