Trump: ‘We’re Not Backing Down’ On Tariffs

(Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump defiantly pledged not to back down on his Thursday announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum despite criticism from House speaker Paul Ryan, in a Monday oval office appearance.

“No, we’re not backing down,” Trump declared despite being directly asked of Ryan’s statement expressing alarm at the tariffs.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan. The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a Monday morning statement.

Trump announced he would impose a 20 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum Thursday despite desperate attempts by many of his advisors to stop him and warned of a trade war. The president brushed off such criticism saying Friday they are sometimes a “good thing.”

Trump’s announcement drew immediate reactions across the globe with the European Union vowing a retaliatory tariff on American products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon whisky and blue jeans. China similarly said that it urges the “United States to show restraint in using protective trade measures, respect multilateral trade rules, and make a positive contribution to international trade order.”