Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr. and US-Asia Pacific Relations

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Coordinator: Sarah Wang. For methodology, click here.

This resource will track statements, developments, visits and other interactions in US-Asia Pacific relations given or undertaken by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr. 

To view quotations, debriefs of interactions with Asia Pacific leaders, and media sorted by topic, scroll down or use the links below.

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries Asia Pacific Leaders Asia Pacific Allies & Partners
China/Taiwan Human Rights & Democracy North Korea
South China Sea Southeast Asia/ASEAN Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN
Trade & Investment    

To view the stances of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of Commerce Ross, and Secretary of State Tillerson on various issues in US-Asia Pacific relations, click here.

To view quotations, interviews, and policy documents given by and interactions with Asia Pacific leaders undertaken by President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Secretary of State Tillerson use the links below.

President Donald J. Trump Vice President Mike Pence Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson    

To examine Asian reactions to ongoing developments in US-Asia relations and the US 2016 Presidential election,click here.

To explore previous quotations, views on Asia Pacific issues, and other connections to Asia from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, click here.

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries

  • Chinese flag. Image: www.flaticon.com China in September 2017. 
  • Japanese Flag. Image: http://www.flaticon.com Japan in April 2017.

Asia Pacific Leaders

  • "U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of fine denier polyester staple fiber from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India received countervailable subsidies of 41.73 to 47.64 percent and 7.18 to 9.86 percent, respectively." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Determinations on Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China and India. November 1, 2017
  • "On October 27, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu met to discuss the U.S.-India commercial relationship and launch their first session of the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue." [Source] Joint Statement from Secretary Ross and Minister Prabhu on the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue. October 27, 2017
  • On September 22 and 23, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Wang Yang, MIIT Minister Miao Wei, NDRC Chairman He Lifeng,Economy and Finance Director Liu He and Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan to discuss the US-China economic relationship.
  • On June 30, 2017, Secretary Ross met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Trump, and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Gary Cohn to discuss the US-South Korea economic relationship
  • On May 31, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Washington, DC to discuss the US-Vietnam bilateral economic relationship. Seeking to further strengthen the ties between both countries, they presided over a ceremony where over $8 billion worth of deals between US and Vietnamese companies were finalized. 
  • On May 3, 2017, Secretary Ross, along with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, spoke to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on the phone to discuss bilateral trade issues between the United States and China.
  • On March 16, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko in Washington to affirm the importance of strengthening US-Japan trade ties and broader investment goals in the Asia Pacific region. 

Asia Pacific Allies & Partners

  • "Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary affirmative rulings that corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) and certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) imported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) produced from substrate originating in the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on CORE and cold-rolled steel imported from China. As a result of today’s announcement, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of CORE and cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Circumvention Rulings on Steel from Vietnam. December 5, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea. [...] The Commerce Department preliminarily determined that exporters from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea have sold cold-drawn mechanical tubing in the United States at 5.10 percent to 209.06 less than fair value.  The Department also preliminarily determined that critical circumstances exist for certain exporters/producers of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy and Korea." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy and Korea. November 16, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam). [...] In 2016, imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $230 million and $77 million, respectively." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China and Vietnam. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Commerce determined that Argentina and Indonesia are providing unfair subsidies to its producers of biodiesel at rates from 71.45 to 72.28 percent and 34.45 to 64.73 percent, respectively. As a result of today’s decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the final rates." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. November 9, 2017
  • "On October 27, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu met to discuss the U.S.-India commercial relationship and launch their first session of the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue." [SourceJoint Statement from Secretary Ross and Minister Prabhu on the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue. October 27, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of carbon and alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from Italy, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, finding that producers/exporters in these countries have sold carbon and alloy steel wire rod in the United States at less than fair value." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. October 25, 2017
  • Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of PTFE resin in India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from India and the People's Republic of China and a Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Polytrafluoroethylene Resin from India. October 19, 2017 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Pakistan, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. October 17, 2017
  • On September 22 and 23, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Wang Yang, MIIT Minister Miao Wei, NDRC Chairman He Lifeng,Economy and Finance Director Liu He and Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan to discuss the US-China economic relationship.
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India received countervailable subsidies of 33.31 to 35.69 percent, and 3.04 percent and 8.09 percent, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from China and India. September 19, 2017
  • "U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan are being unfairly dumped in the United States, and whether producers in Kazakhstan are receiving alleged unfair subsidies. [...] In 2016, imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan were valued at an estimated $144.8 million and $374 thousand, respectively."       [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Titanium Sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan. September 15, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped in the United States, and whether producers in China and India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India. September 6, 2017 
  • On May 31, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Washington, DC to discuss the US-Vietnam bilateral economic relationship. Seeking to further strengthen the ties between both countries, they presided over a ceremony where over $8 billion worth of deals between US and Vietnamese companies were finalized. 
  • On May 16, 2017, Secretary Ross announced the final determinations of countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations of steel reinforcement bar imports from Japan, which were estimated at $96.1 million in 2016. 
  • On May 10, 2017, Secretary Ross announced a new countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, Italy, India, Korea, and Switzerland. China and India are also under investigation for 34 and 32 alleged subsidy programs, respectively. 
  • "Well, the fifth anniversary of the South Korean arrangement, the so-called KORUS, comes up I believe on May 4th or May 5th, something like that.  So that would be a logical time to think through whether there was something to be done or not." [Source] White House Press Briefing. April 26, 2017
  • The US does not have a free trade agreement with India at this point. So the trade relations between US and India are governed by the WTO rules. [...] I don’t believe that there have been any serious discussions with India of late on the topic of a free trade agreement. But there’s no inherent negative attitude on our part on that." [Source] White House Press Briefing. April 26, 2017
  • [After meeting with Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige in Japan] "We are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement." [Source] Kentaro Iwamoto. Nikkei Asian Review. April 18, 2017
  • Under Secretary Ross, the Department of Commerce exercised its authority under Congress for the first time on April 11, 2017 to address market distortions in the production of foreign merchandise and calculate more accurate dumping margins. The Department has found that South Korean steel producers have been unfairly dumping oil country tubular goods (OCTG) into the US market. 
  • On March 16, 2017 Secretary Ross met with Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko in Washington to affirm the importance of strengthening US-Japan trade ties and broader investment goals in the Asia Pacific region. 

China/Taiwan

  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the self-initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet (common alloy sheet) from the People’s Republic of China (China). These historic investigations, the first in over a quarter century, were self-initiated pursuant to the authority granted to the Secretary under the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. [...] In 2016, imports of common alloy sheet from China were valued at an estimated $603.6 million." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Self-Initiates Historic Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From China. November 29, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative final determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China). [...] The Commerce Department determined that China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of tool chests and cabinets at rates from 14.03 to 95.96 percent." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determination on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China. November 28, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea. [...] The Commerce Department preliminarily determined that exporters from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea have sold cold-drawn mechanical tubing in the United States at 5.10 percent to 209.06 less than fair value.  The Department also preliminarily determined that critical circumstances exist for certain exporters/producers of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy and Korea." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy and Korea. November 16, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur announced the affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of hardwood plywood products from the People’s Republic of China (China). The Commerce Department determined that exporters from China sold hardwood plywood products in the United States at 183.36 percent less than fair value.  Commerce also determined that China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of hardwood plywood products at rates ranging from 22.98 to 194.9 percent." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Finds Dumping and Subsidizations of Imports of Hardwood Plywood Products from China. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam). [...] In 2016, imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $230 million and $77 million, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China and Vietnam. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the signing of approximately a quarter trillion dollars in deals facilitated by the Department of Commerce between private U.S. businesses and Chinese entities. The agreements, most of which occurred as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2017 U.S. CEO Delegation to China, will bring thousands of new jobs to America. 'American businesses are the most innovative in the world, and, when given access, can compete with anyone,” said Secretary Ross. “I believe these deals can provide a solid foundation for a stronger relationship that is more free, fair, and reciprocal between the U.S. and China.'” [Source] U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Announces Hundreds of Billions in Deals Between U.S. Companies and Chinese Entities. November 9, 2017
  • "U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of fine denier polyester staple fiber from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India received countervailable subsidies of 41.73 to 47.64 percent and 7.18 to 9.86 percent, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Determinations on Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China and India. November 1, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in this antidumping duty (AD) investigation, finding that exporters of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China) sold their product at prices that resulted in preliminary dumping margins of 96.81 percent to 162.24 percent to be applied, based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties using the Department’s standard non-market economy dumping methodology."     [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China. October 27, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of forged steel fittings in China are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [Source] Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from Italy, the People's Republic of China (China), and Taiwan, and a Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from China. October 26, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of PTFE resin in India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from India and the People's Republic of China and a Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Polytrafluoroethylene Resin from India. October 19, 2017 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Pakistan, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. October 17, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department will defer issuing its preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation on aluminum foil from China.  The deferral will allow the Commerce Department to fully analyze information pertaining to China’s status as a non-market economy (NME) country, which is being contemplated within the context of this AD investigation." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Defers the Issuance of the Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China. October 5, 2017 
  • “We do need major change, and I hope and I believe that we’ve made that clear to the Chinese government, because the relationship is too lopsided at present [...] The most important thing is better market access both for companies operating there physically and for companies exporting there." [Source] Wilbur Ross, Fresh From China Visit, Warns of 'Lopsided' Trade Relationship, Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times. September 27, 2017
  • On September 22, 2017, Secretary Ross discussed the importance of the strengthened sanctions against North Korea, including recent moves by China's Central Bank to limit its interactions with North Korea, during an interview with CNBC. 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India received countervailable subsidies of 33.31 to 35.69 percent, and 3.04 percent and 8.09 percent, respectively." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from China and India. September 19, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped in the United States, and whether producers in China and India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India. September 6, 2017 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China), preliminary finding that Chinese exporters of aluminum foil received countervailing subsidies 16.56 to 80.97 percent." [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China. August 8, 2017 
  • “China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve. Since the Presidential Summit, the first 100 days made progress on important issues including credit ratings, bond clearing, electronic payments, commercial banking, and liquefied natural gas.  Also, this is the first time since 2003 that the Chinese have allowed for imports of American beef. The principles of balance, fairness, and reciprocity on matters of trade will continue to guide the American position so we can give American workers and businesses an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. We look to achieving the important goals set forth by President Trump this past April in Mar-a-Lago.” [SourceStatement From Secretary Ross And Secretary Mnuchin Following The U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. July 19, 2017
  • [Regarding the finalizing of a deal between the United States and China to export US beef to China] “President Trump is doing more to improve the U.S.-China relationship than any president in decades, and this final beef protocol agreement represents even more concrete progress. As we clear away long-standing issues like this one, focusing on near-term, verifiable deliverables, we are building a sound foundation for further discussions.  I look forward to engaging with our Chinese counterparts as we address more complex issues to the benefit of both our nations.” [ Source] Department of Commerce Press Statement. June 12, 2017 
  • On May 10, 2017, Secretary Ross announced a new countervailing duty and antidumping investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, Italy, India, Korea, and Switzerland. China and India are also under investigation for 34 and 32 alleged subsidy programs, respectively. 
  • On May 3, 2017, Secretary Ross, along with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, spoke to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on the phone to dicuss bilateral trade issues between the United States and China.
  • On April 21, 2017 Secretary Ross announced a new anti-dumping duty investigation against carton-closing staples from China. 
  • "'If we [the United States] don't get some tangible results [from China regarding trade] within the first 100 days, I think we'll have to examine whether it's worthwhile continuing them [...] It requires everybody playing by the rules and it requires everybody to have the same objectives. We’ll see in a very, very short while whether it is really the case that we are on the same wavelength.'" [Source] Interview with Fox News. April 9, 2017
  • "What I would hope would come out [of President Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping] would be a commitment to start abiding by the rules and a commitment to working collaboratively to help reduce our deficit [with China]." [Source] Interview with Fox and Friends. March 31, 2017 
  • "Secretary Ross on Nafta, China, and Border Adjustment Tax." [Follow-up on the criminal penalty negotiations with Chinese company ZTE. The China portion of the interview can be viewed from 0:00-1:33 of the interview]. [Source] Bloomberg. March 8, 2017
  • On March 7, 2017, Secretary Ross announced that China's Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (ZTE) has agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $1.19 billion after violating sanctions on exports to Iran and North Korea.

To view the  press conference of this announcement, click here

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator John Thune (R-SD) about China's trade practices.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on how to counter steel dumping, including that by China.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) on how he would expand free trade, including the removal of trade barriers like those imposed by China.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) about Chinese investment in the United States.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on the potential for direct bilateral trade with Taiwan. 

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) on the barriers to US investment into China and the need for reciprocity.

Human Rights & Democracy

 

North Korea

  • On September 22, 2017, Secretary Ross discussed the importance of the strengthened sanctions against North Korea, including recent moves by China's Central Bank to limit its interactions with North Korea, during an interview with CNBC. 

South China Sea

 

Southeast Asia/ASEAN

  • "Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary affirmative rulings that corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) and certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) imported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) produced from substrate originating in the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on CORE and cold-rolled steel imported from China. As a result of today’s announcement, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of CORE and cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Circumvention Rulings on Steel from Vietnam. December 5, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam). [...] In 2016, imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $230 million and $77 million, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China and Vietnam. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Commerce determined that Argentina and Indonesia are providing unfair subsidies to its producers of biodiesel at rates from 71.45 to 72.28 percent and 34.45 to 64.73 percent, respectively. As a result of today’s decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the final rates." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. November 9, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, finding that exporters in the two countries sold this merchandise in the United States at dumping margins of 54.36 percent to 70.05 percent and 50.71 percent, respectively."        [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Biodiesel From Argentina and Indonesia. October 23, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Pakistan, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. October 17, 2017
  • “The U.S. values its relationships with Argentina and Indonesia, but even friendly nations must play by the rules. The subsidization of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump administration takes very seriously, and we will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination.” [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. August 22, 2017 
  • On May 31, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Washington, DC to discuss the US-Vietnam bilateral economic relationship. Seeking to further strengthen the ties between both countries, they presided over a ceremony where over $8 billion worth of deals between US and Vietnamese companies were finalized. 

Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN

 

Trade & Investment

  • "Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary affirmative rulings that corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) and certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) imported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) produced from substrate originating in the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on CORE and cold-rolled steel imported from China. As a result of today’s announcement, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of CORE and cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Circumvention Rulings on Steel from Vietnam. December 5, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the self-initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet (common alloy sheet) from the People’s Republic of China (China). These historic investigations, the first in over a quarter century, were self-initiated pursuant to the authority granted to the Secretary under the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. [...] In 2016, imports of common alloy sheet from China were valued at an estimated $603.6 million." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Self-Initiates Historic Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From China. November 29, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative final determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China). [...] The Commerce Department determined that China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of tool chests and cabinets at rates from 14.03 to 95.96 percent." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determination on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China. November 28, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea. [...] The Commerce Department preliminarily determined that exporters from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy, and Korea have sold cold-drawn mechanical tubing in the United States at 5.10 percent to 209.06 less than fair value.  The Department also preliminarily determined that critical circumstances exist for certain exporters/producers of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Italy and Korea." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from Germany, China, Switzerland, India, Italy and Korea. November 16, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur announced the affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of hardwood plywood products from the People’s Republic of China (China). The Commerce Department determined that exporters from China sold hardwood plywood products in the United States at 183.36 percent less than fair value.  Commerce also determined that China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of hardwood plywood products at rates ranging from 22.98 to 194.9 percent." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Finds Dumping and Subsidizations of Imports of Hardwood Plywood Products from China. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of tool chests and cabinets from the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam). [...] In 2016, imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam were valued at an estimated $230 million and $77 million, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Tool Chests and Cabinets from China and Vietnam. November 13, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the signing of approximately a quarter trillion dollars in deals facilitated by the Department of Commerce between private U.S. businesses and Chinese entities. The agreements, most of which occurred as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2017 U.S. CEO Delegation to China, will bring thousands of new jobs to America. 'American businesses are the most innovative in the world, and, when given access, can compete with anyone,” said Secretary Ross. “I believe these deals can provide a solid foundation for a stronger relationship that is more free, fair, and reciprocal between the U.S. and China.'” [SourceU.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Announces Hundreds of Billions in Deals Between U.S. Companies and Chinese Entities. November 9, 2017
  • "Today, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. Commerce determined that Argentina and Indonesia are providing unfair subsidies to its producers of biodiesel at rates from 71.45 to 72.28 percent and 34.45 to 64.73 percent, respectively. As a result of today’s decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the final rates." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. November 9, 2017
  • "U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of fine denier polyester staple fiber from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India received countervailable subsidies of 41.73 to 47.64 percent and 7.18 to 9.86 percent, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Determinations on Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China and India. November 1, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in this antidumping duty (AD) investigation, finding that exporters of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China) sold their product at prices that resulted in preliminary dumping margins of 96.81 percent to 162.24 percent to be applied, based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties using the Department’s standard non-market economy dumping methodology."     [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China. October 27, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of forged steel fittings in China are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [SourceDepartment of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from Italy, the People's Republic of China (China), and Taiwan, and a Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Forged Steel Fittings from China. October 26, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of carbon and alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from Italy, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, finding that producers/exporters in these countries have sold carbon and alloy steel wire rod in the United States at less than fair value." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. October 25, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, finding that exporters in the two countries sold this merchandise in the United States at dumping margins of 54.36 percent to 70.05 percent and 50.71 percent, respectively."        [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Biodiesel From Argentina and Indonesia. October 23, 2017
  • Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from the People’s Republic of China (China) and India are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of PTFE resin in India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from India and the People's Republic of China and a Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Polytrafluoroethylene Resin from India. October 19, 2017 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Pakistan, and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigations of Imports of Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Taiwan. October 17, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department will defer issuing its preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation on aluminum foil from China.  The deferral will allow the Commerce Department to fully analyze information pertaining to China’s status as a non-market economy (NME) country, which is being contemplated within the context of this AD investigation." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Defers the Issuance of the Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China. October 5, 2017 
  • “We do need major change, and I hope and I believe that we’ve made that clear to the Chinese government, because the relationship is too lopsided at present [...] The most important thing is better market access both for companies operating there physically and for companies exporting there." [SourceWilbur Ross, Fresh From China Visit, Warns of 'Lopsided' Trade Relationship, Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times. September 27, 2017
  • On September 22 and 23, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Wang Yang, MIIT Minister Miao Wei, NDRC Chairman He Lifeng,Economy and Finance Director Liu He and Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan to discuss the US-China economic relationship.
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China and India received countervailable subsidies of 33.31 to 35.69 percent, and 3.04 percent and 8.09 percent, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing from China and India. September 19, 2017
  • "U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan are being unfairly dumped in the United States, and whether producers in Kazakhstan are receiving alleged unfair subsidies. [...] In 2016, imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan were valued at an estimated $144.8 million and $374 thousand, respectively." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Titanium Sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan. September 15, 2017
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped in the United States, and whether producers in China and India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India. September 6, 2017 
  • “The U.S. values its relationships with Argentina and Indonesia, but even friendly nations must play by the rules. The subsidization of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump administration takes very seriously, and we will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination.” [Source] U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations on Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. August 22, 2017 
  • "Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China), preliminary finding that Chinese exporters of aluminum foil received countervailing subsidies 16.56 to 80.97 percent." [SourceU.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China. August 8, 2017 
  • “China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve. Since the Presidential Summit, the first 100 days made progress on important issues including credit ratings, bond clearing, electronic payments, commercial banking, and liquefied natural gas.  Also, this is the first time since 2003 that the Chinese have allowed for imports of American beef. The principles of balance, fairness, and reciprocity on matters of trade will continue to guide the American position so we can give American workers and businesses an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. We look to achieving the important goals set forth by President Trump this past April in Mar-a-Lago.” [SourceStatement From Secretary Ross And Secretary Mnuchin Following The U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. July 19, 2017
  • On June 30, 2017, Secretary Ross met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, President Trump, and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Gary Cohn to discuss the US-South Korea economic relationship
  • [Regarding the finalizing of a deal between the United States and China to export US beef to China] “President Trump is doing more to improve the U.S.-China relationship than any president in decades, and this final beef protocol agreement represents even more concrete progress. As we clear away long-standing issues like this one, focusing on near-term, verifiable deliverables, we are building a sound foundation for further discussions.  I look forward to engaging with our Chinese counterparts as we address more complex issues to the benefit of both our nations.” [ SourceDepartment of Commerce Press Statement. June 12, 2017 
  • On May 31, 2017, Secretary Ross met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Washington, DC to discuss the US-Vietnam bilateral economic relationship. Seeking to further strengthen the ties between both countries, they presided over a ceremony where over $8 billion worth of deals between US and Vietnamese companies were finalized. 
  • On May 16, 2017, Secretary Ross announced the final determinations of countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations of steel reinforcement bar imports from Japan, which were estimated at $96.1 million in 2016. 
  • On May 10, 2017, Secretary Ross announced a new countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, Italy, India, Korea, and Switzerland. China and India are also under investigation for 34 and 32 alleged subsidy programs, respectively. 
  • "Now, not all of the free-trade agreements that we have result in deficits.  But some of the larger ones also result in some of the larger deficits.  In all trade relations with companies, other than free-trade companies, are governed by the WTO, the World Trade Organization.  So that's really the grandparent of all trade arrangements that we have. And as far as I can tell there has never been a systematic evaluation of what has been the impact of the WTO agreements on the country as an integrated whole.  So it’s trying to find violations and abuses.  It calls for a report within 180 days.  But this particular report, it calls for not just outlining the problem or problems, but also proposing the solutions -- alternative solutions to them. [...] And so maybe it would be useful to you to hear where are some of the big deficits so that you can put it into perspective.  China alone is the number-one deficit.  It’s $347 billion. This is on the goods part alone.  So the base is $700 billion.  And China is 47.2 percent of that. Japan is next at $68.9 billion, which is 9.4 percent. [...]Vietnam, $32 billion, 4.3 percent. [...] South Korea, $27.7 billion.  We do have a free-trade agreement with South Korea.  And that's 3.8 percent of the problem. Malaysia, $24.8 billion, 3.4 percent.India, $24.3 billion, 3.3 percent." [Source] Press briefing on Executive Order on Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses. April 28, 2017
  • "Well, the fifth anniversary of the South Korean arrangement, the so-called KORUS, comes up I believe on May 4th or May 5th, something like that.  So that would be a logical time to think through whether there was something to be done or not." [Source] White House Press Briefing. April 26, 2017
  • The US does not have a free trade agreement with India at this point. So the trade relations between US and India are governed by the WTO rules. [...] I don’t believe that there have been any serious discussions with India of late on the topic of a free trade agreement. But there’s no inherent negative attitude on our part on that." [Source] White House Press Briefing. April 26, 2017
  • On April 21, 2017 Secretary Ross announced a new antidumping duty investigation against carton-closing staples from China. 
  • [After meeting with Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige in Japan] "We are certainly eager to increase our trade relationships with Japan and to do so in the form of an agreement." [Source] Kentaro Iwamoto. Nikkei Asian Review. April 18, 2017
  • Under Secretary Ross, the Department of Commerce exercised its authority under Congress for the first time on April 11, 2017 to address market distortions in the production of foreign merchandise and calculate more accurate dumping margins. The Department has found that South Korean steel producers have been unfairly dumping oil country tubular goods (OCTG) into the US market. 
  • "'If we [the United States] don't get some tangible results [from China regarding trade] within the first 100 days, I think we'll have to examine whether it's worthwhile continuing them [...] It requires everybody playing by the rules and it requires everybody to have the same objectives. We’ll see in a very, very short while whether it is really the case that we are on the same wavelength.'" [SourceInterview with Fox News. April 9, 2017
  • "What I would hope would come out [of President Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping] would be a commitment to start abiding by the rules and a commitment to working collaboratively to help reduce our deficit [with China]." [Source] Interview with Fox and Friends. March 31, 2017 
  • "Secretary Ross on Nafta, China, and Border Adjustment Tax." [Follow-up on the criminal penalty negotiations with Chinese company ZTE. The China portion of the interview can be viewed from 0:00-1:33 of the interview]. [SourceBloomberg. March 8, 2017
  • On March 7, 2017, Secretary Ross announced that China's Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. has agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $1.19 billion after violating sanctions on exports to Iran and North Korea.

To view the  press conference of this announcement, click here

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator John Thune (R-SD) about China's trade practices.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on how to counter steel dumping, including that by China.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) on how he would expand free trade, including the removal of trade barriers like those imposed by China.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) about Chinese investment in the United States.

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on the potential for direct bilateral trade with Taiwan. 

During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce on January 18, 2017, Wilbur Ross, Jr. was questioned by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) on the barriers to US investment into China and the need for reciprocity.

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Methodology: Policy materials and quotations from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr. are limited to after January 18, 2017 when he underwent a confirmation hearing before the Senate. Should any quotations before the period be deemed relevant they will be indicated by an asterisk (*) after the date. In all cases, these additional quotations were made within the year prior to the start of the Trump Administration. Flag icons that indicate which countries members of the Trump administration have traveled to are provided by Freepik, accessed through www.flaticon.com.

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