Wilbur Ross defends Trump tariffs with a can of Campbell's soup

by Abel Hampton March 6, 2018, 1:23
Wilbur Ross defends Trump tariffs with a can of Campbell's soup

Beyond his callousness about price increases that will have a tangible and negative impact on some Americans, Ross' comments don't account for the possibility of additional price increases caused the trade war that Trump's new tariffs are likely to spark.

"In a can of Campbell's Soup, there are about 2.6 pennies' worth of steel", Ross argued, holding up a can of soup on CNBC.

"I just bought this can today at a 7-Eleven ... and the price was $1.99". That's around five-tenths of one percent of the price of a auto. "So who in the world is going to be too bothered by 6/10 of a cent?"

In a statement provided to CNBC earlier Friday about the tariffs, though, a Campbell spokesperson noted its impact on the company's costs.

He also called the pushback on the tariffs "false hysteria".

"People talk about cars".

That seemingly tiny cost increase at the consumer level, when rolled up to the company's bottom line, may be enough incentive to change how the company chooses to package all of its soups altogether in favor of plastic, glass or cardboard materials that would not be subject to President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum. There's about one ton of steel in a auto.

Ross explained that Trump's tariffs would raise the price of the "typical $35,000 car" by $175, which he characterized as "no big deal".

Europe has threatened to retaliate with tariffs on everything from Harleys to Levis while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labeled the move by the U.S.

The tariffs have to be "broad" and "global in reach", Ross said, in order to solve the problem at hand, in which excess steel is dumped into the global market, hurting prices.

Ross, a billionaire who struck it rich buying distressed coals and steal assets, did a similar dance with a can of Coke to make the same point about aluminum. Ross said. "Take a auto". ". The only reason China or anyone else buys soybeans from us is that it's the cheapest price that they can get".

He added: "They will have trouble finding a substitute".

Longtime readers will know that we pay close attention to the price of the cans of Campbell soup that American consumers pay.

"This is scare tactics by the people who want the status quo", he said.

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