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The Trump administration and China are injecting a note of caution after declaring a temporary truce on trade.
U.S. Treasury Security Steven Mnuchin said Monday on CNBC that President Donald Trump is reserving the right to reimpose tariffs against Chinese goods if the two countries can’t agree on specifics to bring down the massive trade deficit with Beijing.
China’s government also said Monday it cannot guarantee trade tensions with Washington can be permanently avoided.
In a joint statement issued Saturday, Beijing agreed with the U.S. to “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China, but it did not commit to a specific amount.
Mnuchin says that the joint statement amounted to a suspension of tariffs between the countries and that Trump could reimpose them if a satisfactory deal is not reached.
President Donald Trump is defending his administration’s trade dealings with China a day after his Treasury secretary said the two countries were putting a trade war “on hold.”
Trump tweeted Monday: “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!”
Trump adds: “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the U.S. and China were “putting the trade war on hold” following an announcement that Beijing would buy more American goods. But the two sides gave no indication of how much progress they had made toward ending their dispute.
The trade war between China and the United States is being put on hold. The economic truce came Sunday after a few days of talks aimed at bringing down America’s massive trade deficit with Beijing.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the “hold” on Sunday even though China isn’t specifying just how much it will reduce America’s trade deficit, only that it would be substantial. The Trump administration had sought a deficit reduction of $200 billion.
Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” that the U.S. and China had made “meaningful progress” and that the administration had agreed to put off proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products. China had promised to retaliate.
Mnuchin forecast a 35 to 45 percent increase this year in U.S. farm sales to China.