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Trump tweets "trade wars are good" amid tariff push

Possibility of a trade war worries economists

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is arguing for steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying "trade wars are good." In a tweet Friday, Mr. Trump writes: "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."

He argues that the U.S. is "down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don't trade anymore-we win big. It's easy!"

The president later tweeted that the country's "steel industry is in bad shape."

On Thursday, Mr. Trump said firm action was crucial to protect U.S. industry from unfair competition and to bolster national security. However, his announcement came only after an intense internal White House debate. It brought harsh criticism from some Republicans and roiled financial markets with concerns.

The decision to make the tariff announcement Thursday took many in the White House by surprise, Margaret Brennan reported. The president had been urged by top economic adviser Gary Cohn and national security officials including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to wait while the economic team continued to examine the implications of such a decision. Brennan was told that Mr. Trump simply "ran out of patience" with the delays and decided to make the call.

On Wall Street, the Dow lost more than 400 points. The market is worried about a possible trade war in the wake of Mr. Trump's announcement.

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