In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Wilbur Ross, a senior policy adviser to the Trump campaign and an author of Trump’s 100-day action plan that is viewed as a guide to his likely first efforts in office, said that people shouldn’t be worried about a trade war. He also tried to walk back Trump’s previous claim that he would put a 45 percent tax on goods coming out of China, saying Trump had been misquoted.
“Everybody says, oh he’s going to slap 45 percent tariff on everything out of China. That’s not what he said, and it’s not what he intends,” Ross said. “What he actually said was if — if it turns out that the Chinese yuan is 45 percent overvalued, or as much as 45, and if they won’t negotiate with us, then it may become necessary as a negotiating measure to threaten them with as much as a 45 percent tariff.”
That’s not precisely what Trump said (here is the audio from his interview with the New York Times, in which Trump says that a 45 percent tax, equivalent to some of the “devaluations they’ve done,” could be used to put pressure on China).