Wilbur Ross: China Trade War Isn’t Hurting Americans



Bill McColl | Fox Business

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stresses the U.S. knows what its objectives are through structural reforms and technology transfers.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the trade war between the U.S. and China is having a negligible impact on American consumers.

Speaking with FOX Business’ Gerry Baker on “WSJ at Large”, Ross argued the numbers prove him right.

“There was a study done by one of the European think tanks that said of the 25 percent [tariff], 20.4 or thereabouts had been absorbed on the Chinese side, either through the deterioration in currency or through prices, and only about 4.5 percent was absorbed on the U.S. side,” he said.

But Ross tiptoed around the question of whether America is winning the trade war, as President Trump has claimed.

Ross told Baker the administration has learned, despite the tariffs, China has been buying more agricultural products from the U.S. recently. And while he said that’s a positive thing, it’s still important for the White House to stick to its guns in demanding a broader trade agreement.

“We know that we need a complete deal and it’s not just buying a little more pork or soybeans,” Ross said. “That’s very welcome, but if that’s all we wanted, we could have had a deal two-and-a-half years ago. We need structural reforms, intellectual property, technology transfers, [state-owned enterprises], the whole panoply.”

Ross confirmed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s previous statements to FOX Business that trade talks with China will resume in two weeks. Ross explained that the Oct. 10 to 11 timeframe was roughly what was being targeted.

While Ross remains optimistic about how the negotiations will go, he had a tinge of realism too.

“Well, if they don’t, the president has made it very clear that he’s happy to go back to the tariff situation,” Ross said.

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