Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. and China will strike a trade deal at some point, but don’t expect it to happen at the G-20 summit this month because it’s “not a place where anyone makes a definitive deal.”
U.S. President Donald Trump wants to make progress and threatened more tariffs on China if President Xi Jinping didn’t meet with him at the summit in Osaka, Japan, at the end of June.
However, Ross said the two sides will work on details, but people shouldn’t expect anything definitive.
“The trade deal is gonna be thousands of pages,” Ross said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “At the G-20, at most, it will be a 40,000-foot level, some sort of agreement on a path forward — it’s certainly not going to be a definitive agreement.”
Ross urged patience, saying some people were “hysterical” over the prospect of new tariffs on Mexican imports, only to see a deal come to fruition.
“Even shooting wars end in negotiation. I think eventually this will end in negotiation,” Ross said. “The markets get a little too jumpy, and a little too trigger-happy.
“Judge this administration by results. Don’t judge it by interim soundbites.”
Trump, on the other hand, said he is the one holding up the deal because it has to be the right for the U.S.
“It’s me right now that’s holding up the deal,” Trump said. “And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal at all.”
In fact, according to White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, the Mexican tariff threat could embolden Trump to get tougher on China after Mexico agreed to crack down on illegal immigration in order to avoid tariffs.
“It probably emboldens him to take a tougher stance, but that shouldn’t surprise anybody,” Mulvaney said, according to Bloomberg. “What did the president do when it came to Mexico? He tried to figure out a way to get our interests aligned.”