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U.S. Commerce's Ross says 3 percent GDP growth not achievable this year

Опубликовано : 4-10-2017, 06:28 | Категория: Business news   

U.S. Commerce's Ross says 3 percent GDP growth not achievable this year


The US economy will not achieve the goal of the Trump administration this year by 3% growth and will achieve this only if its regulatory, tax, trade and energy policies are fully implemented, said Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross on Tuesday.

The goal of GDP, "of course, this year is not achievable," Ross said in an interview with Reuters. "The Congress was slow, we did not even have a half of people."

But Ross said that in the end it could be achieved within a year after the policy of President Donald Trump was adopted. He noted that delays could be possible if Congress reduces pressure on tax cuts.

Ross also said that Trump's administration will try to use existing tools to aggressively comply with trade rules and insist on more equitable handling of goods in the US, rather than using the slash and burn approach that Trump discussed during the campaign in 2016.

Comments seem to represent another step toward the center from the administration, and Ross admits that the trade deficit for things like imported oil is "flawless" rather than inherently bad.

Ross, a billionaire investor, said the Ministry of Commerce is working on some "self-employed" anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases on behalf of private enterprises that can protect them from illegally traded imports.

"I believe that ensuring compliance will be one of the main tools for correcting the situation," he said.


American trading partners were frightened by Trump's promise to consider or reject trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he considers unfair for industry and workers in the US.

Ross said that the administration has not yet decided to split NAFTA into parallel bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico or adhere to the current tripartite format.

The possible increase in the use of tariffs in the US to punish foreign companies that are considered unfairly competing, also caused a wave of protectionism.

However, Ross insisted that the Trump administration does not seek to restrict trade by its actions.

"What we limit is trade, which violates trade agreements or violates WTO rules. It is not so important to have trade agreements if you are not going to apply them, "he said.

He said that the rules of the World Trade Organization are slow to punish traffickers and highlight the most advantageous position of the country as a problem for Washington, as it allows widely diverging tariffs.

For example, the US has a tariff for importing cars for countries without the USA at a rate of 2.5%, whereas the European Union has a tariff of 10%, and China charges a 25% tariff.

"Reality, from the point of view of the United States, the provision on the most favored nation is in fact an obstacle to freeing trade," Ross said, adding that tariffs would decline if reciprocity was respected.

But how such changes can be made to equalize tariffs within the organization, "remains to be seen," he added.

Ross also said that not all US trade deficits are inevitably bad or are the result of breaches of the trade agreement, since there are some "flawless" deficits, for example, caused by the need to import oil from the US.

Ross also acknowledged that the Trump administration's statement that it wants to revise the NAFTA Agreement contributed to a decrease in the Mexican peso rate and "inconsistency" in relation to the dollar.

He said it was a "strange situation" that made Mexican goods cheaper and increased the US trade deficit, adding that this was aggravated by delays at the congress at the beginning of the NAFTA negotiations and confirmation of the candidacy of the representative of the US trade representative Robert Lightheart.

"Delays in Congress actually cause more problems with imports from Mexico than before," he said.

Asked whether he believes that the strength of the dollar is a problem for achieving trade goals in the US, he said: "I do not think the dollar is too strong, because other currencies are too weak."

He added that the Ministry of Commerce will focus on "what can we fix", for example, in combating subsidies from abroad in other countries and dumping products whose value is lower than the cost in the US markets.

(Report by David Lauder, Kevin Krolicki, David Chance, Jennifer Ablan and Howard Schneider, Editing Paul Simao and Tom Brown)

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