Donald Trump defends trade moves, says tariff is ‘a beautiful word’

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Published: June 2, 2019 6:46:17 AM

President Donald Trump defended his decisions to impose or raise levies against imports from Mexico and China, respectively, saying “companies are moving to the U.S.” to avoid paying the levies, and that “TARIFF is a beautiful word indeed!”

Upon returning from several hours at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, the president on Saturday issued a series of tweets about the trade actions.

President Donald Trump defended his decisions to impose or raise levies against imports from Mexico and China, respectively, saying “companies are moving to the U.S.” to avoid paying the levies, and that “TARIFF is a beautiful word indeed!”

Widening trade tension has contributed to a slide in asset values over the past few weeks. The stock market slide on Friday extended a weekly loss to the worst since Christmas, and many strategists predict more losses ahead.

Upon returning from several hours at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, the president on Saturday issued a series of tweets about the trade actions.

Regarding Mexico, Trump continued to intertwine various policy goals: stopping illegal immigration through the southern U.S. border with Mexico, ending the flow of dangerous drugs, and boosting job creation — all through the imposition of import tariffs.

“They took many of our companies & jobs, the foolish Pols let it happen, and now they will come back,” Trump said. In announcing plans for an initial 5% tariff — potentially rising to 25% — Trump had said the move was to force the Mexican government to stop the surge of migrants at the border.

The president returned to Twitter to say that the U.S. has been the “Piggy Bank” for other countries for years. “We are no longer the ‘fools’ of the past!” he said.

Trump in May raised the tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, an action that’s beginning to ripple through supply chains. An additional $50 billion was already subject to 25% tariffs. Chinese retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products kicked in Saturday, affecting more than 2,400 goods.

The benchmark S&P 500 index had its worst month of the year, falling more than 6.5% after starting May at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial average, meanwhile, careened to a sixth weekly loss, the longest slump since 2011.

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