×

Mnuchin says he's ‘hopeful’ US can reach deal with China to avoid trade war

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is optimistic a trade agreement will be negotiated with China.
  • Mnuchin says the Trump administration wants China to lower its tariffs on American goods and stop forced-technology transfer for U.S. companies entering its market.
Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters
Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is optimistic a trade agreement will be negotiated with China.

Mnuchin was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether announced tariffs on the Asian country will be implemented.

"We are going to proceed with our tariffs. We are working on that. We're also working on investment restrictions, but we're simultaneously having negotiations with the Chinese to see if we can reach an agreement," Mnuchin said. "We're having very productive conversations with them. I'm cautiously hopeful we'll reach an agreement, but if not we are proceeding with these tariffs. We are not putting them on hold unless we have an acceptable agreement that the president signs off on."

The Dow dropped 724 points Thursday after Trump signed an executive memorandum that would impose tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports. The sell-off continued Friday as the index fell 425 more points.

Mnuchin said China must lower its tariffs on American goods and stop forced-technology transfer for U.S. companies entering its market.

"This is a president that absolutely believes in free trade but wants free and fair trade," he said. "The trade deficit has to be addressed that they need to open up their markets to our companies and that's fair and free reciprocal trade."