March 3, 2018
Following widespread ‘panic’ responses to President Trump’s new trade tariffs plan, several administration officials have been dispatched to change the narrative from ‘the sky is falling’ to ‘America first’.
On the heels of former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco’s comments that “China is a cheater,” and that those arguing against these tariffs and expecting higher costs “don’t know shit,” which followed Larry Kudlow’s comments that “tariffs are prosperity killers,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared on CNBC and at the same National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro (who some pinpoint as starting this push for a trade war in Trump’s mind) appeared on Fox Business.
Ross and Navarro had similar messages, summed up by Ross as “all this hysteria is a lot ado about nothing.”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Friday that President Donald Trump’s tariffs are “no big deal.” During an appearance on “Squawk on the Street,” Ross said the tariffs will have a “broad” but “trivial” impact on prices.
Ross used a can of Campbell Soup to stress his point about what he calls insignificant price increase from Trump’s tariffs.
“In a can of Campbell Soup, there are about 2.6 pennies worth of steel. So if that goes up by 25 percent, that’s about six-tenths of one cent on the price on a can of Campbell Soup,” Ross argued. “I just bought this can today at a 7-Eleven … and it priced at a $1.99. Who in the world is going to be too bothered?“
The Commerce Secretary added that there’s been “tremendous over-reaction in markets.”
“Economic strength is military strength,” Ross said, stressing the president is right on that, and noted that countries threatening retaliation would need to find substitutes if they cut of U.S. imports, which could actually hurt their economies..
“In any war there may be a few causalities and that may just be the nature of the beast.”
Ultimately, Ross concluded, it’s the president’s decision and everyone should “rally around” it.
Navarro was a little more boisterous, as is his way, in an interview on Fox Business.
Reiterating Ross’ comments that the price effects would be minimal, Navarro told Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
The price of a six-pack of beer will rise by about 1 cent, and car manufactures will pass along a $45 increase per passenger car,according to Navarro.
“This whole idea that there’s a big downstream effect – it’s just part of the fake news that’s going to be put out to oppose these tariffs,” Navarro said.
“A penny for a six pack of beer—that’s worth it to put Americans back to work in two industries that we need.”
Despite concern over international companies imposing their own sanctions and raising prices for U.S. consumers, Navarro is not worried about retaliation.
“I don’t believe any country in the world is going to retaliate because they know we are the biggest and most lucrative market in the world and they know they are cheating us and all we’re doing is standing up for ourselves.”
And then they traded places with Wilbur Ross heading over to Fox Business and telling them that the recent US stock market drop was not just due to Trump’s tariff announcement…