>> In that same time period we grew, net, net, net, our jobs in this country.>> Billionaire Wilbur Ross, defending his record on jobs Wednesday in his bid to become Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary, telling senators that he had no choice but to offshore some work at the companies he controlled.
I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Ross is insisting to the Senate Commerce Committee that he's created far more jobs that he's destroyed over a long career turning around troubled businesses. He's responding to a story I wrote that found that he had offshored at least 2,700 jobs since 2004, critics saying that's a curious record for the man who Trump has tasked with protecting American workers from the downsides of global trade.
>> As one of Trump's top economic advisors, Ross has said free trade deals like NAFTA hurt the U.S. economy. And in his confirmation hearing, he said that he would make re-shaping the agreement his first priority. This despite the fact that he personally moved more than 800 jobs to Mexico as head of an auto parts company.
Ross saying he had no choice in the matter as the company had to stay close to its suppliers.>> That customer asked us to relocate workers to Mexico. We really didn't have much alternative to do so.>> Ross also saying that he off shored more than a 1,000 textile jobs to China in order to keep his US based textile factories viable, at a time when there are few domestic producers left.
That's the sort of activity that has been blasted by Trump. Who's threatened to slap taxes on companies like Ford who set up factories in Mexico rather than the United States.>> If Ross confirmed and so far, there's no reason to believe that he won't be, he'll be leading the effort to steer the United States in a more protectionist direction.
Critics saying that could draw retaliation from China and other trading partners. Ross saying that it will pay dividends for American workers and businesses.