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Former George W. Bush chief of staff: Trump wrong about trade wars being ‘easy to win’

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Joshua Bolten, who served as White House chief of staff in former President George W. Bush’s administration, said on Sunday that President Trump is wrong to suggest that a trade war would be easy to win.

Bolten, now the president of the Business Roundtable, told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that Trump’s recent tweet calling for a tax on European Union (EU) cars suggests that he thinks a trade war is easy and winnable.

“It isn’t,” Bolton said. “Nobody wins a trade war, especially in these globalized days.”{mosads}

“If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” Trump tweeted on Saturday after the EU said it might impose tariffs if the U.S. imposes its steel and aluminum tariffs.

Trump announced last Thursday that he is imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

After a wave of criticism, Trump responded that a trade war would be easy to win.

“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. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!” Trump tweeted on Friday.

However, many argue that the tariffs wouldn’t address the issues Trump is highlighting.

Bolten on Sunday criticized White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro, who had appeared on Wallace’s show earlier, for defending the tariffs.

“The remedy that Peter Navarro was pushing the president to impose doesn’t address the real problem, which is Chinese overcapacity,” Bolten said on Sunday.

“We have to get together with our friends and allies who all face the same problems, put pressure on the Chinese jointly, because you can’t do this individually, and force the Chinese to reform their practices,” Bolten told Wallace.

“It is not an easy task. It is not as easy as waving your hands and putting tariffs on a bunch of countries that are not the problem,” Bolten said.

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