Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Newsmax TV that the United States is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to free trade on the global stage.
“The world is not a free market economy,” Ross, 79, told Newsmax Finance Insider, economist and moderator Larry Kudlow in a "Newsmax in the Nation's Capital" special sponsored by Newsmax and Google.
Ross explained that America faces more trade barriers, for example, with auto exports to other nations than Europe and China.
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Some countries “have done a better job claiming to be free trade than they have practicing it. If they would practice what they preach, our deficit would be a lot lower because we would have a leveled playing field in exports,” he said.
He also cited South Korea. “They impose non-trade, non-tariff barriers namely very strange standards for imports of cars,” he said.
“There are all kinds of abuses like that and that's what's wrong with the theory. The original free trade theory was fine. Those countries that can make a particular product better and cheaper they should be exporters of it," he said.
"Those that make it more expensive than not as good should be importers. And ones that are balanced should live off their domestic production. That's a great theory but it's like a lot of things with economics. The theories are perfect. The only thing is they don't fit the real world,” Ross said.
With China, Ross said “their plan is to export a lot more than they import. And I don't think anybody can doubt that the reason China has grown so fast is that it achieved that very well. It's very well-managed.”
He also mentioned other obstacles the U.S. must struggle to overcome.
“Some of the other economies are trying to restrict the digital economy. China is one, and Google will tell you, the closer you get to content the more difficult you run into in China and in a lot of other countries," Ross explained.
"Similarly, there's a big push toward localization of data as opposed to letting data be all on clouds and not geographically linked. Those are bad things. Those are adverse. And even more adverse is what looks to me like a witch hunt that the EU was on against the big American high-tech companies imposing all these tax things," he said.
"I find it a little bizarre that these bureaucrats in Brussels are telling Ireland how to interpret their own tax law. That seems a bit of an overreach to me. “
Kudlow's wide-ranging interview with Ross was conducted at Google's headquarters in Washington.
The session will re-air on Newsmax TV, as well on DirecTV 349, FiOS 615 and U-Verse 1220 – and other outlets. More Info Here.
It will be re-broadcast on Saturday at 1 p.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m., all times Eastern.
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