Wilbur Ross: Trump's Import Tariffs Are 'No Big Deal'

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House Thursday

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum next week, a step he said is meant to revive domestic manufacturing but the announcement has sparked worries of a global trade war.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed "deep concern" to Trump Sunday about the tariff plan.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Friday that President Donald Trump 's tariffs are "no big deal".

Even if there is retaliation by other countries, Dollar said the effect on the broader US economy would be "fairly minor", although the financial hurt could be concentrated in industries such as construction.

While the Trump administration on Friday continued to downplay the potential economic effects of imposing double-digit tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, but experts continued to worry about widespread effects throughout the economy.

DiNicco said Trump needs to get tough with China, whose entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 accelerated the decline of US factories.

Ross said the levies will have a "trivial" effect on prices, using a can of Campbell's Soup to illustrate how Trump's tariffs will minimally raise the cost of consumer goods.

The commerce secretary dismissed European Union threats of retaliatory tariffs on flagship American products including Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and Levi's jeans as trivial and a "rounding error".

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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 one percent".

Sherrie Rosenblatt, vice president and spokeswoman for the institute, told AFP the value of metal in an individual consumer item did not reflect the true burden tariffs would create for can manufacturers and users.

But White House trade advisor Peter Navarro claimed Americans would not mind paying price hikes, which he insisted would be small.

He said that if one country was exempt, all other countries would line up to ask for similar treatment, and that metals could end up being shipped to the United States through exempted countries, the paper said.

Trump invoked national security as the rationale for imposing the tariffs, without making any distinction between friendly suppliers like Canada and potential adversaries like China or Russian Federation.

"The bigger picture here is that China has tremendous overcapacity in both aluminum and steel. But at this point in time there will be no country exclusions", Navarro said, without elaborating.

In Beijing, the spokesman for the National People's Congress warned that "policies informed by misjudgment or wrong perceptions will hurt relations and bring consequences no side wants to see".

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