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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that stock markets will "adjust" to any changes in U.S. trade relations.
"A 170-[point decline] is not very cataclysmic in any event," Ross said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street. " "Naturally, if the market, to the degree it was surprised, it'll have to adjust to that. But markets adjust to facts."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 170 points Thursday after the Trump administration said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union will take effect at midnight Thursday.
"We don't know what it's going down as a result of," Ross said, noting that "home sales were a little bit on the weak side."
Pending home sales fell a more-than-expected 1.3 percent in April from the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
In contrast to other administrations, Trump's White House has often pointed to stocks' performance as a measure of success. The Dow is up about 34 percent since President Donald Trump won the election.