Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defended President Donald Trump’s Thursday announcement that the U.S. would impose a 20% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium in a Friday appearance on CNBC.
Trump’s tariff announcement was widely panned by industry leaders from the beverage and auto industry. “We are concerned with the unintended consequences the proposals would have, particularly that it will lead to higher prices for steel and aluminum here in the United States compared to the price paid by our global competitors,” the American Automotive Policy Council said in an earlier statement regarding the President’s plans.
Ross dismissed these objections, saying,”It’s a trivial effect people talk about cars it’s about one ton of steel in a car, and the price of a ton of steel is $700 or so. So 25% on that would be one-half of 1% price increase on a typical $35,000 car. So it’s no big deal.”
Beer producer Miller Coors also came out against the tariff saying:
MillerCoors statement: We are disappointed with President Trump’s announcement of a 10% tariff on aluminum. While we won’t know the details for a week, the Department of Defense recently reported that aluminum does not cause any national security issues. (1/3)
— MillerCoors (@MillerCoors) March 1, 2018
Ross then held up a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, saying, “What I would like to do, though, is to emphasize again the limited impact this is a can of Campbell’s soup this, in the can of Campbell’s soup there’s about 2.6 cents — 2.6 pennies — worth of steel. So if that goes up by 25%, that’s about 6/10 of one cent on the price of a can of Campbell’s soup.”
The commerce secretary then held up a can of Coca-Cola noting, “Coca-Cola has three cents worth of aluminum in it. So if that goes up 10%, that’s 3/10 of a cent I just paid $1.49 for this can of coke. It doesn’t mean anything so all of this hysteria is a lot to do about nothing.”