It's not abnormal for people to leave White House: Sarah Sanders

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While President Trump has been a big backer of the US coal industry, it is possible that his new tariffs could backfire, hurting USA coal exports while boosting those from China.

The president said he's going to be "very fair" and "very flexible" on tariffs and reiterated he wants a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

"A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security, absolutely vital", he said. In a sharp reversal from decades of a US-led drive towards more open trade, Trump declared on Thursday that America had been "ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices". "It's really an assault on our country", he continued.

Peter Navarro, Trump's trade and manufacturing adviser, said in an interview on Fox Business on Wednesday that the tariffs would go into effect within about 15 to 30 days and that the proclamation signed by the president would include a clause that would not immediately impose tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security, so we expect to be excluded", Malmstrom, the 28-nation EU's trade commissioner, told reporters in Brussels on Friday.

Warning that there would be no victors in such a trade war, Lagarde urged "the sides to reach agreements, hold negotiations, consultations".

"We're two departures from the White House turning into that creepy abandoned house in the neighborhood", Colbert joked, mimicking a panicked voice telling children to "stay away from old man Trump's house!" NAFTA's legal structure, which offers its members tariff-free access to each other's markets, was a major complication in applying the tariffs to Canada and Mexico, according to a prominent Washington trade lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. He suggested in an earlier meeting with his Cabinet that Australia and "other countries" might be spared, a shift that could soften the worldwide blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners. Trump specifically called out Germany, a member of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. We have to do something about what they're seeing and how they're seeing it.

The EU was clear on Friday that it views tariffs and defense as separate.

"Tariffs are taxes, and the American taxpayer will pay the cost of a trade war", said Cody Lusk, president and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

Despite objections by many business trade groups, by most Democrats and Republicans, and by a number of advisers in the Trump administration, the United States president forged ahead with his plan on Thursday, keeping a promise he made during his 2016 presidential campaign.

From @Acosta: A source close to White House says Trump is upset with @PressSec Sarah Sanders over her handling of Stormy Daniels questions yesterday.

Off the cuff Last week Trump stunned the world - and his own aides - with an off-the-cuff announcement of his plan, even before White House lawyers judged the legality of the tariffs. "I've been talking about this a long time, a lot longer than my political career".