WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Friday morning brushed off concerns about the effect of his plans for steep new tariffs, tweeting that "trade wars are good, and easy to win."
His administration must "protect our country and our workers," Trump said in apparent defense of his plans for a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, which he announced to his staff's surprise on Thursday. Global financial markets fell significantly in response, and analysts attributed that to fears of a trade war between the United States and China.
Trump seemed to single out China without naming it: When "a certain country" gets "cute," he wrote, "don't trade anymore-we win big. It's easy!"
But few economists from right to left would agree with the president about the efficacy of trade wars. Ending trade with the United States' leading trade partner would likely rock the economy, cause inflation to spike and raise prices for American consumers on a wide range of popular products.
In two later tweets on trade, Trump said he needed to protect U.S. steelworkers and an industry "in bad shape," and then added that his administration "will soon be starting RECIPROCAL TAXES" -- slapping tariffs on foreign imports identical to those that their countries of origin put on American goods.
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