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National Govt & Politics
President Trump: 'trade wars are good, and easy to win'
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President Trump: 'trade wars are good, and easy to win'

President Trump: 'trade wars are good, and easy to win'
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

President Trump: 'trade wars are good, and easy to win'

Defending his decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, President Donald Trump signaled on Friday morning that he would continue to be aggressive on trade imbalances with other nations, sending out an early morning tweet that "trade wars are good, and easy to win."

"We must protect our country and our workers," the President said.

While the announcement on Thursday came as a surprise to GOP lawmakers in Congress, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that no one should doubt the President's resolve to shake things up on trade.

"This is something he's wanted to do for awhile. Never say never, but I think he's pretty committed to moving this forward," said Sanders.

"He is incredibly focused on the American worker," she added.

While the President made clear during the 2016 campaign that he would press the world on trade, his decisions rattled Republicans in the Congress, many of whom swiftly labeled the Trump tariffs a tax on consumers.

"Putting new taxes on aluminum and steel will hurt our economy and increase prices on hardworking Minnesotans," said Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN).

"Make no mistake: If the President goes through with this, it will kill American jobs," said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who for a second day voiced the concerns of rural America about trade battles.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

"I urge him to work closely with Congress to minimize the harmful impact these tariffs will have on American businesses, workers, and consumers," said Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who urged the President at a recent meeting not to proceed with tariffs.

The final details of the President's steel and aluminum tariffs are still not clear, as they could exempt certain items - for now, Mr. Trump says the rates will be 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"I wouldn't expect those to change, but some of the other details need to be finalized," said the President's Press Secretary.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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Washington Insider

  • Apart from a few GOP voices in the U.S. House and Senate, most Republican lawmakers in Congress had little to say in recent days about President Donald Trump's continuing attacks on the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), as the President used a speech in Ohio on Wednesday to launch an extended series of jabs as the former POW. 'I have to be honest - I've never liked him much,' Mr. Trump said at a speech at a tank production plant in Lima, Ohio. With Congress on break this week, many Republicans stayed away from the tide of remarks by the President, as only a handful of GOP officials stood up to tell Mr. Trump to back off, and leave the dead U.S. Senator alone. 'It’s deplorable what he said,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said of President Trump in a Wednesday radio interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting.  “That’s what I called it from the floor of the Senate seven months ago. It will be deplorable seven months from now if he says it again, and I will continue to speak out,' said Isakson, who has been one of McCain's few public defenders in the GOP to push back directly at Mr. Trump. 'John McCain is an American hero and I am thankful for his life of service and legacy to our country and Arizona,' said Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who now holds his seat in Congress - though McSally did not directly mention the President in her statement. But Rep. Peter King R-NY, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) were outliers, as some supporters said the President was needlessly picking a fight - with a dead man - which he will never win. 'President 0. Dead Man 1,' wrote conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson. 'Let's be a little less coo-coo,' said Anthony Scaramucci on CNN Thursday morning, who served in the White House for a very short period of time in 2017, but remains a strong supporter of the President. Here's the President's full remarks about McCain from the Wednesday event: In a late night email sent to reporters on Wednesday, the McCain Institute pushed back - without mentioning the President by name - as the group defended the late GOP Senator, and one time Republican nominee for President in 2008. 'John McCain was held for 5 years in a Vietnamese prison and brutally tortured,' the group wrote, offering a laundry list of supportive items from his resume in the military and in Congress. 'John McCain always called on America to stand up for its values of freedom and democracy,' the group added, as even in death, McCain was still embroiled in battles with President Trump.