Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ House panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong MORE used a Budweiser tall boy, a can of Campbell’s soup and a can of Coca-Cola to make the case Friday for President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Ross argued that the tariffs will have very little effect on consumer prices, using the props he said he purchased at a 7-11 store in Boynton Beach, Fla., to illustrate his point.
Prices will go up by maybe only fractions of a penny and won't cause any harm, he said.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Ross said during an interview on CNBC.
“So all this hysteria is a lot to do about nothing.”
Trump is expected next week to announce a blanket 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.
Opponents of the tariffs, including a number of business groups and GOP lawmakers, say they will cause prices to spike and result in retaliation by trading partners.
Ross said he still wasn't aware of the plan's details and whether it would apply to all imports of steel and aluminum.
“That’s what the president seemed to announce yesterday,” Ross said.
But more information is yet to come.
“So we’ll have to see the intricate details,” he said.
“But that certainly is the broad outline and therefore it will have a fairly broad effect,” he said.
“But it’s a trivial effect,” he said, referring to prices.