WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – New tariffs that the United States is threatening to impose on nearly half the goods imported from China would have a small effect on the Asian nation’s economy and not lead to disaster, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday as markets were set to open lower on the trade stand-off.

“It’s not something that’s going to be cataclysmic,” he said in an interview with Fox Business News, explaining that the 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of goods would only amount to $50 billion a year, equal to less than 1 percent of China’s economy.