As president, he has set out to reduce the trade deficit (meaning the USA isn't importing much more than it exports) with Mexico and Canada. Republicans have been hard pressed to support Mr. Trump's import tariffs, which many argue could have negative impacts on the USA economy.
The Constitution gives Congress the authority over taxation and tariffs, but Congress has delegated trade negotiation and tariff authority to the president over recent decades.
"We have had a bad deal with Mexico". Club for Growth, a conservative group that favours free markets, said the tariffs would be bad for American workers in a broad swath of industries. "For many years, NAFTA has been a disaster".
"But if I do make a deal which is fair to the workers and to the American people, that would be, I would imagine, one of the points that we'll negotiate", Trump elaborated in his Oval Office comments.
Navarro said Monday on "Fox &Friends" 'if we get a great NAFTA agreement. that would be a great thing for the American people'. For decades domestic steelmakers have said they can't compete with nations that subsidize their industries and dump cheap steel on the market.
German auto companies urged policymakers on Monday to avoid a trade war with the United States "at all costs".
The U.S.is threatening to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into that country and some want the Canadian government to fight back.
In a tweet on Sunday, he argued: "We are on the losing side of nearly all trade deals".
United States stocks opened lower on Monday as investors remained concerned about the increasing likelihood of a global trade war.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday the European Union must "react quickly" to USA plans that clearly breached WTO rules.
"There is clearly abuse occurring; clearly there is overcapacity, dumping and transshipping of steel and aluminum by some countries, particularly China", the Wisconsin Republican said. He said the European Union could answer by taxing American goods including whiskey, blue jeans, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. "Tariffs will also harm the pro-growth effects of the tax cuts, stall the economy, incite a trade war, and help hand the election to the Democrats".
That is just the kind of tit-for-tat reaction that economist warn could spark a trade war at a time when the U.S. and global economies have only recently returned to firmer footing.
Trump is holding firm on his threat to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.