UPDATED 10:23 AM PT — Mon. Dec. 3, 2018
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expressing optimism a trade agreement with China will soon be reached.
While speaking outside of the White House Monday, Mnuchin said there’s a specific understanding that the U.S. and China will turn the agreement that the two presidents have made into a real agreement over the next 90-days.He said while some of the areas are going to need to be phased into the deal, a real agreement is on the horizon.
The treasury secretary also discussed the differences the recent meeting had from previous ones.
“This the first time we exchanged specifics on 142 different structural items,” Mnuchin explained. “President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they’re prepared to do on these issues, and the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we’ve always talked about, but more importantly protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures, protecting U.S. technology currency.”
Tariffs were said to be a major part of the discussions between the U.S. and China, while at the G20 summit — an area that has been a sticking point for negotiations.
While some have criticized the president for what’s considered an aggressive approach against Beijing, Mnuchin indicated he believes the president’s plan has worked.
“I think President Trump’s strategy on tariffs were very effective,” he stated. “I think it created a first time…a real change in the willingness to address certain issues.”
Mnuchin went on to say while trade is a major talking point in discussions with China, the two sides will also work on a number of global issues together. That includes the effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program and the issue of fentanyal killing people across the U.S.