President Trump sent stock futures and a leading dollar index even lower in early trading Friday as he followed up Thursday’s action on tariffs with this:
‘…trade wars are good, and easy to win.’
Here’s the full tweet from the president.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
Stocks ended sharply lower Thursday and Trump’s comments Friday sent stock futures YMH8, -0.80% , ESH8, -0.50% NQH8, -0.77% already trading lower, down even more. All three main benchmarks are on track for roughly 2% weekly losses, to break back-to-back weekly wins.
The dollar deepened its loss after Trump tweeted, with the ICE U.S. Dollar index DXY, -0.29% down 0.3% at 89.95 compared to 90.24 late Thursday.
Citing what he sees as unfair broader trade deals and steel dumping, Trump told an audience of steel executives including from U.S. Steel X, +5.75% , Nucor NUE, +3.26% and Arcelor Mittal MT, -1.91% on Thursday that tariffs will be imposed at 25% on steel and 10% on aluminumstarting next week. Automakers and other manufacturers immediately expressed concern with anticipated higher prices on the materials they need and the likelihood that retaliatory tariffs could follow.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he’ll take the matter to the World Trade Organization and that “we will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures.”
Trump said Thursday that tariffs would be put on imports “for a long period of time.” The move follows a determination by the Commerce Department that imports threatened national security. While running for president, Trump had often campaigned on creating more U.S. jobs with renegotiated trade pacts.
Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican representing agricultural state Nebraska, had this to say in response: “You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”