Wilbur Ross defends China tariffs: Not going to be 'cataclysmic'

Wilbur Ross defends China tariffs: Not going to be 'cataclysmic'
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Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossWilbur Ross ordered to give deposition in 2020 census case: report The seafood trade deficit is a diversionary tactic Wilbur Ross is wrong; the pain from the trade war is coming MORE on Thursday defended the Trump administration's latest threat to ramp up tariffs on China, saying it would not lead to disaster for the U.S. economy.
 
“It’s not something that’s going to be cataclysmic,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
 
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The comments came one day after the Trump administration announced it is considering raising planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, a sharp increase that could fuel a trade war between the world's two largest economies.
 
Ross sought to soothe those concerns, saying a 25 percent tariff would only amount to $50 billion, or only a fraction of 1 percent of the Chinese economy.
 
The Commerce secretary said Trump believes additional tariffs are needed because China has refused to "modify their behavior" in response to an initial round of tariffs and other U.S. economic sanctions.
 
"We have to create a situation where it's more painful for them to continue their bad practices than it is to reform them. That's the purpose of the whole exercise," Ross said.
 
The threat of increased tariffs, however, has investors worried and is also a point of concern for farmers who have been subjected to retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 115.89 points at 10:05 AM, just over half an hour after markets opened on Wall Street.
 
The Trump administration has proposed a $12 billion aid package for farmers who struggle to sell their products, many of whom reside in states Trump won in the 2016 election.