Tags: China | Donald Trump | Trump Administration | wilbur ross | china | tariffs | trump

Wilbur Ross: Tariff Delay Was Not 'Quid Pro Quo' With China

By    |   Wednesday, 14 August 2019 11:47 AM

The Trump administration's decision to delay tariffs on some items from China was "not a quid pro quo," but instead was intended to help American consumers, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted Wednesday.

"There had been all sorts of research done before there were public hearings about what items to put on," Ross told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"Nobody wants to take any chance of disrupting the Christmas season."

Trump on Tuesday backed off plans to impose 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports on Sept. 1, delaying duties on cell phones, laptops, and many other consumer goods.

Ross said the decision affected only certain products, "namely those that are 75% or more supplied by China. The reason we use that as a cutoff is that it's very hard to replace quickly somebody who's a 75% supplier. The earlier things we had done were ones where China was a much lower percentage, therefore, much easier to replace them."

"We do a lot of analyses, and the important thing is that you're trying to judge people's reactions," such as what China would do to retaliate, said Ross.

"You need a whole matrix, not a single-point analysis, but the fact is that there is not very much inflation in the economy. Import prices in fact have been very stable. The study done in Europe indicated that of the 25% tariff we had put on, 20.5% or thereabouts was borne by the Chinese and 4% by the Americans.

Meanwhile, the White House has invited the Chinese delegation to Washington in early September, but Ross said he does not think a date has been set for that meeting.

"I don't think it's a question about anybody committing to anything," he said. "What we're interested in is having discussions that focus on where we thought we were."

Ross also refused to comment about a three-month general license that was provided to Huawei that is set to run out on Monday, saying he'll wait until after that to provide an update on where the process stands.

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The Trump administration's decision to delay tariffs on some items from China was "not a quid pro quo," but instead was intended to help American consumers, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted Wednesday.
wilbur ross, china, tariffs, trump
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2019-47-14
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 11:47 AM
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