U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a round table discussion on tax reform at the White Sulphur Springs Civic Center in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, U.S. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Trump Warns U.S. Investors of `a Little Pain' in Trade Standoff

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. markets could face some “pain’’ from the trade standoff with China and other countries but claimed that Americans would be better off in the long-run due to his protectionist actions.

“I’m not saying there won’t be a little pain,” Trump said Friday during an interview on WABC Radio’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning’’ program. “ So we might lose a little of it but we’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished, and that’s what I’m all about.’’

Trump ordered his administration Thursday evening to consider tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports, sending U.S. stock futures tumbling. In a statement Thursday, Trump cited “China’s unfair retaliation” in response to his list of proposed tariffs earlier this week covering $50 billion in Chinese products.

U.S. stocks have fluctuated drastically for much of the past month as Trump has intensified punitive trade actions against several countries. Trump, who in the past has hailed the rising stock prices during his tenure, has spoken less about the markets as they have retreated from record highs this year.

Trump claimed in the interview Friday that “the market’s gone up 40 percent or 42 percent.”

Since Trump was inaugurated, the S&P 500 is up 17 percent, the Dow up 24 percent and the Nasdaq up 27 percent. Since his election, the S&P 500 is up 33 percent, the Dow up 44 percent and the Nasdaq up 44 percent, even with recent losses.

“We have to do things that other people wouldn’t do. So we may take a hit, but you know what, ultimately we’re going to be much stronger for it,’’ Trump said during the radio interview on Friday. “It’s something we had to do, and ultimately if you take a look it’s not only trade with China -- it’s everybody."

Responding to Trump’s Thursday action, China said it would counter U.S. protectionism "to the end, and at any cost," as a war of words over Trump’s proposed tariffs on Chinese imports escalated.

"The Chinese side will follow suit to the end and at any cost, and will firmly attack, using new comprehensive countermeasures, to firmly defend the interest of the nation and its people,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website on Friday.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.