Wilbur Ross, a billionaire businessman and commerce secretary nominee for the Trump administration, speaks to CNN's Erin Burnett about tariffs on China and the President-elect's administration.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN: Trump has threatened 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports to the US.
That's a threat, right?
He said, I'm going to threaten it because I don't want end up having--
WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY NOMINEE: No, here's what he actually said.
ROSS: What he said was if it turns out that the Chinese currency is overvalued, valued as much as 45 percent, and if they won't negotiate, then it may become necessary to threaten them with as much as a 45 percent tariff. That's not willy-nilly slapping a 45 percent tariff on everything.
BURNETT: Right. But it is hoping that they will believe that he would do it, right?
ROSS: Oh, he will do it.
BURNETT: They have to believe him -- so he -- you say you think that he really will. And they're not going to say wait...
ROSS: What I'll say is...
BURNETT: -- here he is, crying wolf.
ROSS: No. What I'm saying is this. I've negotiated with him over the years and he is not a bluffer. So if he says he will do something in a negotiation, not -- I'm not talking about a campaign speech, in an actual negotiation, if he says if you don't do this, I will do that, you bet your booty he will do it.
BURNETT: So he means it when it comes to China?
ROSS: I didn't say that he'll put a 45 percent tariff on everything.
BURNETT: But he -- right.
ROSS: What I said is...
ROSS: -- if in a negotiation, you get to a sticking point and it's this or that, he will not blink.