On Wednesday, appearing with Burritt on CNBC, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the White House is not trying to “blow up the world” with its tariffs, and indicated that Trump would be open to exempting U.S. trading partners Canada and Mexico if a reworked NAFTA can be reached.
“This feels like the beginning of a renaissance for us,” said Burritt, a former chief financial officer at heavy equipment maker Caterpillar. “It’s really important that we get this right, and now it’s finally happening.”
Burritt said the strength of the U.S. depended on the tariffs. “You’ve got to be able to make stuff in the United States. If you take away our ability to make things, you don’t really have a society.”
“Just think about the way the U.K. used to have a big manufacturing base. It went away. If you don’t make stuff, you can’t have a strong country. You can’t protect yourself and you go by the way of Greece or maybe Puerto Rico,” he added.