Mnuchin Says Trade War With China is ‘On Hold’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday stated that the U.S. and China decided to put the trade war “on hold.”

“We’re putting the trade war on hold, so right now we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Chinese state media reported that Washington and Beijing have agreed to back off on tariffs.

“The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war and will stop increasing tariffs on each other,” Vice-Premier Liu He said.

According to Fox News, the apparent detente comes a day after the U.S. and China released a joint statement saying the two nations agreed to take measures to “substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China.”

“Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports,” the statement said.

However, Mnuchin on Sunday did not specify how much in American products the Chinese would buy, suggesting that the Trump administration could reimpose tariffs if China does not follow through.

Fox News also reported that senior U.S. officials, including Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met in recent days with Chinese officials, as the two nations attempted to broker an agreement and avoid a trade war.

President Donald Trump put doubt on the expectations about whether the talks would be fruitful, especially after months of exchanging threats of steep tariffs between the two nations.

“You’ve never seen people come over from China to work on a trade deal. Now, will that be successful? I tend to doubt it,” Trump told reporters. “China’s become very spoiled … because they always got 100 percent of whatever they wanted from the United States,” Trump said. “But we can’t allow that to happen anymore.”


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