Possible new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods not "cataclysmic" -Commerce Secretary

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WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - New tariffs that the United States is threatening to impose on nearly half the goods imported from China would have a small effect on the Asian nation's economy and not lead to disaster, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday as markets were set to open lower on the trade stand-off.

"It's not something that's going to be cataclysmic," he said in an interview with Fox Business News, explaining that the 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of goods would only amount to $50 billion a year, equal to less than 1 percent of China's economy.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert)