US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said President Donald Trump had no intention of backing down and was not worried about a trade war, Reuters reports.
“We are going to proceed with our tariffs. We’re working on that,” Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday. “So, as President Trump said, we’re not afraid of a trade war, but that’s not our objective.”
A presidential memorandum signed by Trump last week will target up to US$60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of US intellectual property, but only after a 30-day consultation period that starts once a list is published.
Trump gave the Treasury Department 60 days to develop investment restrictions aimed at preventing Chinese-controlled companies and funds from acquiring US firms with sensitive technologies.
Mnuchin said he believes the United States could reach an agreement with China on some issues, but said the tariffs would not be put on hold “unless we have an acceptable agreement that the president signs off on”.
China has urged Washington to “pull back from the brink” on the tariffs and threatened to retaliate by hitting US agricultural exports.
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