Wilbur Ross: Warnings of US Protectionism Are ‘Rubbish’

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who oversees trade policy for the Trump administration, said warnings by other countries about the perils of U.S. protectionism are “rubbish.”

“They [Europe, Japan and China] talk free trade, but in fact what they practice is protectionism,” Ross told the Financial Times in an interview. “And every time we do anything to defend ourselves, even against the puny obligations that they have, they call that protectionism. It’s rubbish.”

The U.S. imports much more than it exports, resulting in a $500 billion trade deficit that President Donald Trump wants to shrink by boosting domestic factory growth. America’s manufacturing output dropped to 12-year lows during the Great Recession of 2008-09, and has barely nudged above pre-recession highs.

Trump softened his anti-China stance last week, telling The Wall Street Journal that the country was not a currency manipulator. During last year’s election campaign, he

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