Trump defends policies: US must be 'treated fairly' on trade

Trump defends policies: US must be 'treated fairly' on trade
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE defended his decision this week to enforce steep tariffs on key U.S. trade allies by saying “stupid trade” is not free trade.

“The United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on Trade,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “If we charge a country ZERO to sell their goods, and they charge us 25, 50 or even 100 percent to sell ours, it is UNFAIR and can no longer be tolerated. That is not Free or Fair Trade, it is Stupid Trade!”

On Thursday, Trump announced that the U.S. would impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU), reversing the group's previous exemptions.

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Trump initially announced the tariffs in March but granted temporary exemptions to the nations.

The tariffs went into effect Friday, but drew swift backlash and threats of retaliation from EU leaders and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shortly after the announcement. 

"Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable," Trudeau said.

The EU said it will file a case against the United States at the World Trade Organization and take retaliatory action, most likely in the form of reciprocal tariffs. 

Trump has long claimed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is unfair to the U.S. His administration has been working for months with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the deal.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Space race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants MORE said extensions were given to Canada and Mexico as the three nations held NAFTA talks.

However, he added that because there was “no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded,” the two countries were subject to the tariffs.