WATCH: Trump commerce secretary vows US will win trade war — and Dow futures crash while he talks
Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears on CNBC (Screen cap).

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday tried to calm jittery financial markets during an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box" -- but his words did very little, as futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed while he spoke.


During the interview, Ross said he was surprised to see that Dow futures were down by hundreds of points in the wake of China's announcement that it was issuing retaliatory tariffs on American soy products.

"This response should not have really surprised anyone," he said. "Their response to the 232 tariffs was quite proportionate to the 232 amount. The response here is also quite proportionate to the $50 billion we announced last night. So I'm quite surprised that Wall Street has been surprised by it. This has been telegraphed for days and weeks."

When asked about the possibility of sitting down with China to negotiate, Ross said it was a distinct possibility since "even shooting wars end in negotiations."

Ross then said he was confident that President Donald Trump could negotiate a great deal with China on trade given his purported history as a great "deal maker."

"The president is a lifelong deal maker," Ross said. "This isn't the first deal he's gone into. It isn't the first controversy he's gone into, and I doubt that it will be the last one."

Watch the video below.