The Trump administration doesn’t wish to get into trade wars, but it feels certain things need to be re-examined to ensure a better deal for American workers, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.
At a news conference in Germany, where he will participate in a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting, Mnuchin said President Donald Trump views trade as important for economic growth.
But when asked whether the G20 should explicitly reaffirm its past vow to resist protectionism, Mnuchin repeated his view that some US trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer and more reciprocal, Reuters reports.
“It is not our desire to get into trade wars,” Mnuchin said. “The president does believe in free trade but he wants free and fair trade.”
Differences over trade could become a sticking point for G20 finance officials at a meeting in the town of Baden-Baden, Germany this weekend.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Reuters in an interview that it is unclear whether the anti-protectionism language would remain in the G20 statement to be issued at the meeting’s close on Saturday.
But Schaeuble and Mnuchin both said they had a constructive discussion ahead of the G20 meeting, which begins Friday, and pledged to work together through differences to promote growth.
Mnuchin said the ministers agreed that they should fight currency manipulation.
Regarding the US dollar, Mnuchin reiterated his view that a strengthening dollar was good for the long run, but declined to comment on short term movements in the currency, Reuters said.
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