Washington: The Trump administration is not afraid of a trade war with China but this is not its objective, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today.
As President (Donald) Trump said, we’re not afraid of a trade war, but that’s not our objective, Mnuchin told Fox News during an interview.
Last week, Trump initiated a series of actions against unfair trade practices of China, including taking steps to impose additional tariffs on a number of Chinese items amounting to USD 60 billion. The US has trade deficit of USD 500 billion per annum. China has said it would retaliate.
I’ve had very productive conversations with the vice premier. He came to Washington. We’ve communicated several times since then. We continue to have a discussion the other night, he said.
We’re working on a pathway to see if we can reach an agreement as to what fair trade is for them to open up their markets, reduce their tariffs, stop forced technology transfer. These are all the things we want to do. But in a negotiation, you have to be prepared to take action. And that’s what President Trump is doing, Mnuchin said.
The recent actions by the Trump administration, he said is unlikely to have a big impact on the market. I don’t expect to see a big impact on the economy. We’ve been very careful in how we’re doing this and what we’re doing, he said.
What we’re doing is long-term very good for the economy, which it is pressing for free and fair trade. And to the extent that China is willing to open up their markets, which they’re making all the right directions on. But if they open up their markets, it’s an enormous opportunity for US companies, Mnuchin said.