Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Wilbur Ross: Trade wars aren't new but 'US troops are coming to the ramparts'

Key Points
  • The U.S. commerce secretary appeared to suggest that the United States was ready to enter into trade wars.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, speaks at the Conferederation of British Industry's annual conference in London, Britain, November 6, 2017.
Mary Turner | Reuters

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared to suggest Wednesday that the United States was ready to enter into trade wars.

Speaking at a press conference at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Ross said: "There have always been trade wars. The difference now is U.S. troops are now coming to the ramparts."

Asked whether the U.S. was about to impose more trade tariffs and whether he was afraid of starting a trade war, Ross said trade wars were common.

"Trade wars are fought every single day. Unfortunately, every single day there are various parties violating the rules and taking advantage," he said.

Ross was speaking alongside Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said that a weaker dollar was good for the U.S. and that the country was committed to free trade.

Ross' comments come as global leaders appeared to criticize the U.S.' decision Monday to impose trade tariffs on solar cell imports from China.

Opening the WEF annual meeting Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said protectionism and isolationism were negative for the global economy. U.S. President Donald Trump is due to give a speech in Davos on Friday; he is expected to promote his "America First" policy.