October 15, 2019 / 5:25 PM / a month ago

Shift in U.S. trade approach has short-term costs, but long-term gains: Ross

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross meets with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not pictured) at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said there were some short-term costs associated with the Trump administration’s get-tough shift in trade policy, but said those would be offset by longer-term gains for the U.S. economy.

He said U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports had brought Beijing to the negotiating table, and helped facilitate a trade agreement reached in principle with China last Friday. U.S. tariffs were also accelerating moves by many companies to shift their production facilities out of China, he said.

“The Trump administration is focusing more intently on trade than any other prior administration. There are some short-term costs associated with this shift, but there are much greater, long-term, potential and probable gains,” he told an event hosted by the Federalist Society.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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