Ross: There may be some retaliation on tariffs

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Space race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants MORE on Sunday conceded that there may be some retaliation over the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, but argued any retribution would be "trivial."

“As to the idea of retaliation, sure there may well be some sort of retaliation, but the amounts that they're talking about are also pretty trivial,” Ross told ABC’s “This Week.” 

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“It's some $3 billion of goods that the Europeans have threatened to put something on. Well, in our sized economy, that's a tiny, tiny fraction of 1 percent.” 

Ross’s remarks come after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE last week announced a plan to slap a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. The Commerce secretary defended the impact of tariffs on Sunday, saying on ABC that "the notion that it would destroy a lot of jobs, raise prices, disrupt things, is wrong.”

Ross also told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that retaliation won’t change the price of consumer goods, even those that rely on imported steel and aluminum.

“Retaliation isn't going to change the price of a can of beer. It isn't going to change the price of a car. It's just not going to,” Ross said.

“The beer industry, you'll notice, hasn't put forward any numbers,” Ross added. “My number is there's roughly 3 cents of aluminum in a can of beer. If you put a 10 percent tariff on that, that's 3/10ths of a cent. Beer sells for over $1 a can.”

Ross argued on ABC that while any retaliation might affect an individual producer for "a little while," it won’t amount to more than a "rounding error" for the economy. 

— Luis Sanchez contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:46 a.m.