U.S. Treasury Chief: Trump 'Perfectly Happy' to Tax More Chinese Imports

Fredrick Soto
June 11, 2019

The world's top financial policymakers admitted Sunday that trade tensions had worsened, posing a risk for the global economy, after a G20 meeting that laid bare differences between the United States and other nations.

He pointed out that 'this is not a negotiating meeting, ' even as he signaled a willingness to get talks rolling again.

"If they want to come back to the table and complete the deal on the terms that we were continuing to negotiate, that would be great", The New York Times quoted US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying on Saturday.

On 1 June, China's tit-for-tat tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA imports came into effect. "'When you have intervention in a market for a long period of time and then they don't intervene, the market could view that as a desire to have the currency weaken", he said.

The Treasury Department issued its semi-annual foreign-exchange report to Congress last month, in which no country was named as a manipulator. He also ordered tariffs to be raised on all remaining U.S. imports from China, which are valued at around $300 billion.

Last week, China's Commerce Ministry said it will soon release a list of "unreliable" foreign companies in a move seen as a response to the USA decision to penalize Huawei for alleged theft of intellectual property and evasion of Iran sanctions.

He and other members of the Trump administration maintain that the ripple effects of the billions of dollars in tariffs imposed by Washington on Chinese exports over the past year are creating new business opportunities for other businesses in the USA and other countries.

China has blamed the US for the breakdown and vowed to reciprocate for the increased tariffs in various ways.

"The principal threat stems from continuing trade tensions", said Lagarde, adding that the International Monetary Fund estimates the tariffs could reduce the level of global GDP by 0.5 percent in 2020, or about $455 billion. "And I think he will go and I think we're scheduled to have a meeting". Mnuchin mentioned that Trump is apparently willing to lift the trade ban on Huawei, but only if China is willing to cooperate in coming up with an acceptable deal for both parties.

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the G20 leaders' summit in Osaka, Japan, to be held later this month.

There was no immediate word from the Chinese side about the meeting between Yi and Mnuchin. -China trade conflict was hurting global growth.

Australia, India and Chile all lowered interest rates in the past week.

Mnuchin described the meeting as having parallels to the two presidents' December meeting in Buenos Aires, when Trump was poised to hike tariffs on $US200 billion ($A286 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

As this year's June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka approaches, Trump is preparing to launch 25% tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports so far untouched by the two countries' tariff war.

Not everyone is as sanguine about the economic impact of the trade tensions.

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