News

Economy & Business

Wilbur Ross: Stock-Market Downturn Won’t Deter Trump on Trade

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attends a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House, June 18, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said definitively Monday that the Trump administration will not alter its protectionist trade agenda in response to a downturn, however drastic, in the stock market.

“There’s no bright-line level of the stock market that’s going to change policy,” Ross said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “The president is trying to fix long-term problems that should have been fixed a long time ago.”

Widespread concern about the administration’s expanding trade war with both European allies and China is slowing the bull market that Trump has enjoyed since taking office. Ross, however, cast the downturn as the inevitable cost of high-level trade negotiations in his comments Monday.

“There is obviously going to be some pulling and tugging as we try to deal with very serious problems,” he said. “There will be some hiccups along the way.”

The comments come after Axios reported Sunday that the White House has drafted a bill that would withdraw the U.S. from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and grant Trump autonomy to unilaterally raise tariffs against any country to a rate of his choosing.

Ross downplayed the reports, calling any talk of a U.S. withdrawal from the WTO “premature.”

The European Union, Canada, and Mexico have responded to the American steel and aluminum tariffs implemented in May with retaliatory tariffs of their own. China has vowed further retaliation for the separate China-specific tariffs that went into effect Friday. And, in a letter sent to the Commerce Department Friday, the E.U. threatened massive retaliatory tariffs on some $300 billion in U.S. auto exports if the administration moves to tax European auto imports.

NOW WATCH: ‘Trump’s Trade Demands Confuse China’

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fight for Kavanaugh 

The cynics — or, perhaps more precisely, the realists — believed that the Democrats were playing for time in the hopes of finding another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh. The cynics were right. The New Yorker stooped to publish a shoddy story alleging that Kavanaugh exposed himself to a woman while he ... Read More
White House

What Is Hillary Clinton Thinking?

When Homer Simpson looks in the mirror, he sees ripped chest muscles and arms like the trunks of beech trees. When Hillary Clinton looks in the mirror, she sees America’s sweetheart. She thinks: America adores me. She thinks: America already chose me to be president once! She thinks: Everyone is comparing me ... Read More
White House

Trump Stands By ‘Fantastic’ Kavanaugh

President Trump was supportive of his nominee to the Supreme Court during a radio interview set to be broadcast on Monday morning, in which he characterized Brett Kavanaugh as a “fantastic, fantastic man” and called into question allegations of sexual assault. In the interview — recorded on Sunday, ... Read More