Published: Fri, January 25, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

USA and China 'miles and miles' from trade resolution, says Wilbur Ross

USA and China 'miles and miles' from trade resolution, says Wilbur Ross

When asked on CNBC's Squawk Box about some employees turning to "homeless shelters to get food", Ross, who is reported to have assets numbering $700 million, replied: "Well I know they are, and I don't really quite understand why".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday downplayed the ongoing partial government shutdown's impacts on federal workers, claiming they should simply take out loans to cover the costs of necessities.

Ross said workers will "eventually" get their pay and that there is no reason why a loan would not be a reasonable option for workers who have been staring at zeroes on their pay statements.

"To all of the great people who are working so hard for your Country and not getting paid I say, THANK YOU - YOU ARE GREAT PATRIOTS!" he said.

Others pointed out that many federal workers won't receive backpay when the shutdown ends and can't easily get approved for a loan. Some are lining up at food banks to feed their families and struggling to make rent and mortgage payments.

"I don't know, is this the "Let them eat cake" kind of attitude?" she said.

"True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest", said Ross. "I get that, and I think a lot of people have to get through this".

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"I know they are [going to food pantries] and I don't understand why because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake-say, borrowing from a bank or a credit union-are in effect federally guaranteed", he said. They have Wilbur Ross saying he doesn't understand why oh, when he was asked about people going to food lines and pantries and the rest, he says, he doesn't understand why they have to do that.

Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic adviser, said nobody wants federal workers to experience the pain they now are.

"A huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say, between Christmas and New Year's", Hassett said on January 11.

"And then we have a shutdown, and so they can't go to work", he said. The FBI Agents Association says its members are less effective at fighting crime; the Coast Guard says asking its personnel to serve without pay is "unacceptable"; and air traffic controllers say they're anxious about basic flight safety.

"It's not fair to you, and we all get that". Since Congress has promised to pay employees for their time away from work, the loans effectively carry "a 100 percent government guarantee", Ross said.

Ross was probably trying to suggest that supermarkets and banks would be willing to float customers unable to pay, Trump said in rambling remarks at the White House. As the shutdown continues, the number of TSA workers calling in sick has increased dramatically, with as much as 10 percent of the work force calling out, the Associated Press reported.

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