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Wilbur Ross: Trump 'Perfectly Happy' to Slap More Tariffs on China If No Deal Reached

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By    |   Monday, 17 June 2019 02:22 PM

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said President Donald Trump is ready to proceed with tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods if a trade pact can’t be forged with Beijing.

Ross told CNBC on Monday that enforcement would be the most important element of any potential deal between the world’s two largest economies.

“We will eventually make a deal, but if we don’t, the president is perfectly happy with continuing the tariff movements that we’ve already announced, as well as imposing the new ones that he has temporarily suspended,” Ross said.

To be sure, hundreds of U.S. businesses from local bridal shops to multi-billion dollar retailers have submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office opposing Trump’s plan to slap tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese imports, Reuters reported.

The higher tariffs would affect everything from apparel and footwear to fireworks and cellphones, and was likely to raise prices for U.S. consumers, the companies warned in submissions ahead of the start of seven days of public hearings on Monday.

Ross played down the prospect of an agreement being reached at the G-20 meeting in Osaka on June 28-29, where Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to be in attendance, CNBC explained.

He said the G-20 was not a place “where you’re going to negotiate a 2,500 page agreement,” adding that “there may be an agreement on the path forward, but that’s about as far as we can expect it to go.”

Ross also hinted that Trump was poised to impose tariffs on auto imports in an attempt to pressure foreign carmarkers into manufacturing on U.S. soil.

“The U.S. market is the healthiest auto market in the world right now. The Chinese market has been crumbling, European market is stumbling as well,” he said.

“In the American market, the big cars are what sell best in the States, and those are the highest profit margin cars, so there is a big logic, independently of what actions we are taking on trade, for more capital investment by foreign makers in the U.S. We are just accelerating that with the potential tariffs.”

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Wilbur Ross: Trump ‘Perfectly Happy’ to Slap More Tariffs on China If No Deal Reached
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2019-22-17
Monday, 17 June 2019 02:22 PM
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