President Trump is taking a firm stance on trade with China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business on Thursday.
The White House on Wednesday announced it would consider more than doubling its proposed 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods to 25% in order to reinforce that America will not allow Beijing to take advantage of American workers.
“The reason for the tariffs to begin with was to get China to modify their behavior,” Ross told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.” “But instead they have been retaliating. So the president feels that it is potentially time to put more pressure on in order to modify their behavior.”
Trump has already imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods in July, which prompted Beijing to retaliate with its own levies on U.S. goods. The U.S. and China are the world’s largest economies, respectively. The U.S. had a $375 billion trade deficit with China last year.
The new round of tariffs, Ross said, are intended to get China to change its behavior.
“We have to create a situation where its more painful for them to continue their bad practices than it is to reform them,” Ross said.
U.S. companies have raised concerns over trade tensions potentially trickling down to consumers, but Ross said, if imposed, it wouldn’t be “cataclysmic.”