President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States is “not backing down” on his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs, despite backlash from members of his own political party.
During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump was asked by reporters whether his stance had shifted after House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he opposes the tariff plan.
“No, we’re not backing down,” the president said of the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum he announced last week he intended to impose.
Ryan’s office on Monday morning released a statement saying the speaker is worried the tariffs will cause a trade war and advising the White House against moving forward.
“If they aren’t going to make a fair NAFTA deal, we are just going to leave it this way,” Trump said, linking the tariffs to the ongoing renegotiation of the trade deal with Canada and Mexico. “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.”
Trump said the tariffs might be used as a point of negotiation during talks on NAFTA happening in Mexico City. He added, however, that there may still “be tariffs on steel for Canada and for Mexico.”
On Monday morning, the president tweeted that “Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.”