On Saturday, August 4th, US President Donald Trump defended the controversial use of tariffs against China and other countries, saying that such trade measures are “working much better than previously thought.”
“….Tariffs have had a tremendous positive impact on our Steel Industry,” Trump said in a Tweet.
“Plants are opening all over the U.S., Steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury. Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!” the Tweet continued.
….Tariffs have had a tremendous positive impact on our Steel Industry. Plants are opening all over the U.S., Steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury. Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Donald Trump also claimed that these tariffs would make the US a “much richer” country, calling “fools” anyone who disagrees. The US president also said that China was “for the first time going ill against us,” referring to the trade dispute between the two countries.
Trump’s messages follow heightening trade tensions with China. Earlier this week, the president of the United States told his chief representative to consider whether to raise tariffs of $200 billion on Chinese products from 10% to 25%.
Beijing, meanwhile, has threatened to impose another $60 billion in tariffs on a number of US products.
The White House’s economic aide Larry Kudlow went so far as to say that this was “a weak response.”
On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Chinese response would be “fully justified and necessary”.
Behind the scenes of a security forum in Singapore, he responded to Kudlow’s remarks, stressing that China has a “major contribution to make to global economic growth.”
Tensions with China have raised concerns in both countries over the potential collateral damage of trade disputes between the two largest economies in the world.
“We said earlier that this round of tariffs would amount to doubling the imprudence of imposing a trade policy that would hurt US families and workers more than it would hurt China,” a leading trade group, the National Retail Federation, said in a statement that disputes Trump’s claim of a win for the US in the ongoing trade showdown with China.
While Trump is seeking credit for new jobs in the steel sector created with the help of tariffs, retaliatory measures by Beijing and others have shaken US soybean producers and the many companies that rely on increasingly expensive steel as raw material.