Ross spoke shortly after the president slapped China with about $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports.
"There will be some ultimate retaliation [from the Chinese] but I don't think it's going to be the end of the earth," he said on "Power Lunch."
Ross called the $60 billion figure a "tiny fraction" of the economies of both the U.S. and China.
"It's not as though we're blowing them up," he said. "This is not going to put China into a depression. It's not going to put us into a depression. This is simply trying to cure abuses."
The measures are meant to penalize China for trade practices that the Trump administration says involve stealing the intellectual property of American companies.
"This is the first of many" trade actions, Trump said, as he signed the executive memo.
The new measures follow a so-called 301 investigation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer into China's potentially unfair trade practices with the U.S.
Lighthizer's office will publish a list of targeted products in 15 days, and there will be a 30-day period for public comment, according to senior administration officials.