Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Testifies regarding the administration’s position with Canada, Mexico, and China
While testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that U.S. negotiators are close to resolving trade disputes with two of its closest trading partners. In addition, Mnuchin said that negotiators are likely to travel to Beijing soon to continue trade discussions with China amid the current trade restrictions on both U.S. and Chinese products.
Regarding its trade with Canada and Mexico, the U.S. administration is making progress in resolving steel and aluminum tariffs that applied to the two countries, according to Mnuchin. These tariffs had not been resolved in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, and some key lawmakers noted that they will not vote in favor of the USMCA trade agreement without the steel and aluminum tariffs removed. “I think we are close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada”, says Mnuchin. When asked about the possibility of the U.S. unilaterally lifting tariffs, Mnuchin said: “I didn’t say we were lifting tariffs. What I said is that we’re trying to resolve the tariff issues as part of the agreement with USMCA. That’s something we’re focused on.”
Regarding its trade discussions with China, Mnuchin said that as of recently, U.S. representatives were “very close to a historic agreement,” but that since then “things had gone in a different direction.” This follows the accusation that China was backtracking on its position in negotiations, which resulted in raising tariffs on $200 billion a year of Chines imports, and subsequent tariffs on U.S. goods from the Chinese government.
Despite recent events, Mnuchin states that meetings with Chinese negotiators were constructive, and that the U.S. team is likely to go to Beijing and continue those discussions. No specific details about the delegation or proposed timeline have been shared. In addition, Mnuchin said that President Trump intends to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit of the heads of state of the G-20 nations at the end of June. He assured the subcommittee that “President Trump is determined that we have free and fair trade and wants to have a fair relationship with rules”.← Back To News