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Unhinged Trump Sparks Potential Trade War with Tariff Comments

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President Donald Trump invited a trade war after slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, daring other countries to act on threats of retaliation.

“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 said in an early morning tweet on Friday.

Trump is facing anger from manufacturers and trade partners in China and Europe after announcing tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum for “a long period of time.” The formal order is expected to be signed next week.

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., cautioned “Trade wars are never won. Trade wars are lost by both sides,” in a statement. “If the President goes through with this, it will kill American jobs — that’s what every trade war ultimately does. So much losing.”

Trump in a follow-up tweet Monday morning warned of more trade actions ahead, casting them as reciprocal taxes, a term he has used for imposing levies on imports from countries that charge higher duties on U.S. goods than the U.S. currently charges.

“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!” Trump said in the tweet.

The aggressive stance has stoked fears of trade retaliation and roiled global markets. The U.S. dollar weakened for a second day against a basket of currencies, while equity markets across the U.S., Asia and Europe have declined.

Bloomberg News Wire

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