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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSMiami) — Despite a wave of criticism, including from members of his own party, President Donald Trump is moving ahead with a plan for new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“We’re not backing down,” said Trump on Monday.
The president is doubling down on his pledge to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
During an oval office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump pushed back at critics who say it will lead to a trade war.
“People have to understand: our country, on trade, has been ripped off by virtually every country in the world, whether it’s friend or enemy,” said President Trump.
The tariffs the president announced last week – 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum – would apply to all imports, no matter the source.
“The European Union, we can’t do business in there. They won’t allow it – they have trade barriers that are worse than tariffs. They also have tariffs, by the way, but they have trade barriers far worse than tariffs. And if they want to do something then we’ll just tax their cars that they send in here… like water,” said Trump.
House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote in a statement that he believes the tariffs could lead to a trade war. Ryan and other Republican leaders have been urging Trump to reconsider.
“You’re punishing the American consumer and our allies. You’re making a huge mistake here. Go after China, not the rest of the world,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
So far, the White House isn’t buying those arguments.
The president says he’s determined to protect American industries while closing a multi-billion dollar trade deficit.
President Trump said the tariffs could be lifted for Canada and Mexico, if those nations are willing to offer more favorable terms under a new NAFTA deal.