Treasury secretary says U.S. open to talks with China

Treasury secretary says US open to talks with China

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the US was in "communications" with China in order to avoid a trade war over tariffs.

"This has been very well organised. Because the markets rights now believe that we are in a trade war." co-host Melissa Lee said.

Yet above all, the Treasury Secretary emphasised that the reason the White House was studying levying new tariffs on Chinese goods was because in response to Washington's $50bn tariff list (10% of Chinese imports), Beijing had announced tariffs on $50bn of US-made goods (38% of USA exports).

The Treasury Secretary made it clear that United States officials including himself are in regular communication with China as a tariff dispute escalates between the two countries.

'But at the same time, ' she added, 'the president has said, "Enough is enough".

"There is the potential of a trade war", Mnuchin said.

"The American economy is driven by technology and technological advances. We are in communication with them regularly I am in communications". "I'm cautiously optimistic that we will be able to work this out". The statement came just hours after Beijing promised to "counterattack with great strength" any attempt by President Donald Trump to impose a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House on Friday that negotiations with China over the tariffs have yet to start.

China owns almost $1.2 billion of the USA government's debts, an important bargaining chip it could play at a time when the White House's vaunted tax cuts are driving the Treasury to borrow more money. He said that Washington and Beijing could resolve the trade dispute within three months.

"On Sino-US trade, China has made its position very clear".

"I think we can manage this without significant difficulty to the overall economy", Mnuchin said.

On Wednesday, China responded by announcing plans for tariffs on 106 USA products, including soybeans, cars, aerospace and defense.

"We have ways of dealing with that", he said. China has said it will respond proportionately, and has so far proposed duties on $50 billion in US products, including aircraft and soybeans.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Friday that China is ready to "hit back forcefully".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called China's move "unjustified" and said Mr Trump's proposal was an "appropriate response to China's recent threat of new tariffs".

The National Retail Federation criticized the new round of tariffs as a risky game of chicken ending with the United States on the losing end of a trading relationship that has benefited American companies and consumers.

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