President-elect Donald Trump is expected as soon as Wednesday to nominate billionaire private-equity investor Wilbur Ross to be his Commerce secretary.
Ross, 78, is the founder of the private equity firm WL Ross & Co., known for restructuring failed companies in distressed sectors like steel, textile and coal. He has been a leading economic adviser to Trump during the campaign.
Ross would head a department with a wide array of responsibilities, ranging from monitoring the weather to enforcing export rules for goods with military uses. He would also be in charge of implementing U.S. trade laws, on which Trump has advocated a tough line to defend against unfairly priced or subsidized imports from China and other countries.
“If America’s trading partners continue to cheat, a President Trump will use all available means to defend American workers and American manufacturing facilities from such cheating, including tariffs,” Ross wrote in a paper on Trump’s economic plan with economist Peter Navarro, another senior Trump adviser.
Ross added that tariffs will not be used as an endgame but rather “a negotiating tool to encourage our trading partners to cease cheating.”
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