Wilbur Ross: China Talks About Free Trade, "We Want To Bring The Reality Closer To The Rhetoric"

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Wilbur Ross, chairman and chief strategy officer at WL Ross testifies at his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce. He said he was not anti-trade, but pro-sensible trade.

"I think we should provide access to our markets to those countries who play fair, play by the rules, and give everybody a fair chance to compete," Ross said. "Those who do not, should not get away with it, they should be punished, and severely."

Chinese premier Xi Jinping said Tuesday at Davos that China would be a champion of free trade if Trump attempted to erect barriers. Ross responded to China's statement, saying: "They [China] talk much more about free trade than they actually practice. We would like to level that playing field and bring the realities a lot closer to the rhetoric."

WILBUR ROSS: Over the years, I hav had businesses that actually operated in some 23 countries. For the most part, our businesses have been domestic, but we have been on the ground in all of the major trading partners of this country. As a result, we know directly what is good, and a lot of the things that are not so good, about the trade poicies about many of these other countries.

I am not anti-trade. I am pro-trade. But I am pro-sensible trade. Not pro-trade that is to the disadvantage of the American workers and manufacturing community.

I think we should provide access to our markets to those countries who play fair, play by the rules, and give everybody a fair chance to compete. Those who do not, should not get away with it, they should be punished, and severely.

I think that we can not afford trade that is inherently bad for American workers, and for American businesses, but I think there ar eplenty of opportunities to expand our exports. I think the number one objective will be expanding our exports...

China is the most protectionist country of the very large countries. They have both very high tariff barrier, and very high non-tariff trade barriers to commerce. They talk much more about free trade than they actually practice. We would like to level that playing field and bring the realities a lot closer to the rhetoric.

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