Trump on tariffs: 'Sorry, it's time for a change'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon House passes 'right to try' drug bill Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE defended his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs in a tweet Sunday, saying it was time for a change because the U.S. is “on the losing side of almost all trade deals.” 

“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals,” Trump tweeted. “Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” 

Trump has been defending his decision to slap a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, saying that even if it leads the US into a trade war, “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” 


The proposed tariffs have led to international backlash from many foreign leaders and companies. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 420 points on the day the tariffs were announced, and the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and other nations have threatened to retaliate if their exports are impacted. 

Members of Trump’s own party, including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHouse Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller Collins: 'Extremely disappointing' ObamaCare fix left out of spending deal House poised to vote on .3T spending bill MORE (R-Wis.), have pushed back against the president and urged him to reassess how it will affect American companies. 

Companies like Toyota and MillerCoors have also spoken out against the tariffs, saying they will cause the prices of beer and cars to rise. 

The exact details of Trump's proposed tariffs remain unclear and are expected to be announced in the coming week. 

The move was cheered by labor unions, including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, which said Thursday that the tariffs are “critical to leveling the playing field and ensuring that U.S. steel producers and their employees have a fair shot in the global economy.”

Trump and his protectionist allies have long argued that foreign countries, especially China, are flooding the U.S. market with cheap steel that has forced domestic producers to shutter plants and cut jobs.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a leading protectionist voice in the Trump administration, said Friday on CNBC that Trump appeared to be suggesting that certain allies would be exempted, adding that tariffs would have to be “fairly broad” to have the desired effect.

Ross downplayed the gloomiest predictions.

“All this hysteria has a lot to do about nothing,” he told CNBC.