Tags: wilbur ross | donald trump | china | tariff | trade

Wilbur Ross: Trump's Tariffs Aim to Curb Abuses, Won't Be 'End of the Earth'

By    |   Thursday, 22 March 2018 03:14 PM

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports will not lead to a trade war with America’s biggest trading partner.

"There will be some ultimate retaliation [from the Chinese] but I don't think it's going to be the end of the earth," Ross said in an interview with cable channel CNBC. "It's not as though we're blowing them up. This is not going to put China into a depression. It's not going to put us into a depression. This is simply trying to cure abuses."

Trump on Thursday approved $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods after castigating the country for unfairly seizing U.S. intellectual property. He said the tariffs would be “the first of many” trade actions.

The stock market opened with a decline and didn’t recover by the afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 433.18 points, or 1.76 percent, to 24,249.13 by 2:37 p.m. New York time. A 1.7 percent decline in Facebook pressured tech shares as the social networking company struggled with a data-privacy scandal.

Trump’s latest round of trade actions are in line with his campaign promises to get tough on foreign trading partners like China and Mexico. Trump tapped into populist discontent with his pledge to do something about the massive trade deficit that he blamed for sending American jobs and wealth overseas.

Trump's message was especially popular among blue-collar workers who never recovered from the 2008 financial crisis that accelerated the decline of America's middle class. One of Trump’s first actions as president was to withdraw the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that was backed by the Obama administration.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will publish a list of targeted products in 15 days. His office investigated China’s trade practices and will disclose its findings in a report soon, he said.

Ross said the tariffs won’t mean the end of global trade, and are part of a negotiating strategy. Before joining the Trump administration, Ross spent a career as investor who specialized in distressed assets like run-down steel mills.

"There may be some firing shots over the bough and things like that but I believe at the end of the day this will end up in a negotiated settlement," he said.

President Trump and China President Xi Jinping have a "very good working relationship witheach other, particular on North Korea," Ross said. "We're not going to try to disrupt that relationship. But everybody, even our closest allies, must play by the rules."

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said President Donald Trump's latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports will lead to a trade war with America's biggest trading partner.
wilbur ross, donald trump, china, tariff, trade
Thursday, 22 March 2018 03:14 PM
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