President Donald Trump has made it quite clear that he'll increase U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods if a trade deal isn't reached by Dec. 15, but that shouldn't interfere with shoppers' prices this holiday season, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday.
"You have a logical deadline (of) Dec. 15,” Ross told Fox Business' Stuart Varney. "If nothing happens between now and then, the president has made quite clear he’ll put the tariffs in – the increased tariffs."
Retailers already have stocked up on items for this Christmas, so now is a "really good time" if more tariffs must be added, said Ross.
"You don't have a deal on anything until you have a deal on everything," said Ross. "So they're making progress, but it is one step forward, one step backward. I do think the president is 100% right. They want to make a deal. The question, do they want to make a deal we can live with?"
The U.S. has enacted tariffs on more than $350 billion in Chinese goods in the past 17 months, and President Donald Trump has rejected calls from China to roll them back.
"We have a very strong economy and they have lots of problems," Ross said of China, noting the country's debt levels, falling consumer confidence, and its supply chain.
He also said he thinks the "ball is in China's court" over whether a deal will be reached this year, but he does think the country's economy is growing "slower than what they are letting on to."
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