Trump: "We Are Doing Steel Tariffs"

Earlier today we asked, what happens if Trump does not back down from his tariff threat, despite the market's near certainty that the president will eventually change his mind. Well, a few hours later during a joint press conference with the Swedish prime minister, Trump confirmed that he has yet to change his mind, reiterating that "we're doing tariffs on steel."

  • TRUMP: `WE'RE DOING TARIFFS ON STEEL'

Trump also slammed Europe again, saying the old continent has been "particularly tough" on the US in trade, and suggested that Europe could "make a deal" to avoid tariffs:

  • TRUMP: U.S. HAS BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF ON TRADE FOR MANY YEARS
  • TRUMP: EU HAS BEEN `PARTICULARLY TOUGH' ON U.S. IN TRADE
  • TRUMP SUGGESTS EU COULD MAKE DEAL THAT'D OBVIATE TARIFF NEED

The president then confirmed what was suggested last night, that the US would be willing to exempt Canada and Mexico, and that there would be "no need for tariffs", if a Nafta deal is made.

  • TRUMP: IF NAFTA DEAL MADE, NO REASON FOR TARIFFS ON CAN, MEX

But the focus of Trump's ire was again China, which Trump said indirectly exports "much more steel" than just the 2% the US imports directs, by way of "trans-shipping":

  • TRUMP SAYS CHINA SENDS U.S. MUCH MORE STEEL THAN PEOPLE THINK
  • TRUMP: IF YOU'RE BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES, TRADE WARS NOT SO BAD
  • TRUMP SAYS CHINA "TRANS-SHIPS" STEEL TO U.S. THROUGH MANY OTHER COUNTRIES

His conclusion, the same as before: trade wars are not that bad... if you're behind others:

  • TRUMP: IF YOU'RE BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES, TRADE WARS NOT SO BAD

Summary: it still does not appear that Trump is about to relent on launching a trade war.