Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will head to China in June, hoping to make a deal and salvage his tattered reputation in the eyes of President Donald Trump, who has berated him in the Oval Office, saying that he’s “past his prime” and “no longer a killer,” according to a Tuesday Politico report.
Ross has reportedly lost his footing in the perpetual battling between protectionists like him, and advocates of free trade.
He also diminished himself in Trump’s view last year when he brought back two deals with China: one would have cut off Chinese steel production, which some say they planned to do anyway; and the other allowed the U.S. to import China’s cooked chicken in exchange for American beef, per Politico. Though Ross reportedly painted the meat exchange as a triumph, Trump exploded at what he saw as an insignificant deal, lashing out at Ross and demanding that he be taken off the negotiations.
Despite a series of professional mistakes, Ross, who runs in similar social circles to the President and has maintained his Mar-a-Lago membership, is still well-liked by Trump.
According to Politico, Ross is also having far too much fun traveling and enjoying the perks of the office to leave on his own accord, despite critics’ concerns that the exodus of talent and stonewalling of career officials under his tenure have left the department floundering and unprepared for big upcoming projects like the census.