Mnuchin says there's 'potential for a trade war' with China

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there's a "potential for a trade war" with China, but expressed hope that the ...

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 11:21 AM
Updated: Apr 7, 2018 11:21 AM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there's a "potential for a trade war" with China, but expressed hope that the world's two largest economies can work out their differences.

"There is a level of risk that we could get into a trade war," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC on Friday. "I'm cautiously optimistic we'll be able to work it out."

President Trump ratcheted up the rhetoric with China late Thursday evening, saying he was considering another wave of steep tariffs on the country's exports to the United States.

"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate," the president said in a statement.

The secretary tried to assure investors that Trump's willingness to fight for US interests would be a "long-term positive" for American companies. But those remarks failed to offer relief. The Dow was down 700 points late in the day.

Related: Dow drops 700 points as trade war fears return

"We want to sell more goods around the world," said Mnuchin, who repeatedly pointed to the disparity in the US-China trade relationship. "This is a terrific opportunity for US companies if they are treated fairly."

Earlier this week, the United States announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, claiming that China is stealing US intellectual property. China responded within hours by announcing $50 billion worth of tariffs on US goods. Those tariffs have yet to go into effect.

The moves follow US tariffs that were imposed earlier this year on Chinese steel and aluminum, which also prompted retaliatory measures from China.

In the CNBC interview, Mnuchin avoided directly answering whether the United States and China were in active negotiations to avert a trade war.

Instead, he said the Trump administration was still willing to negotiate with China, while sending a direct message it would defend US interests.

"We absolutely are willing to negotiate and not get into a trade war. On the other hand the president is perfectly willing to defend our interests," Mnuchin said. "Our strategy is very clear."

Questions over whether the world's two largest economies were engaged in discussions swirled on Friday after a spokesperson for China's Commerce Ministry told reporters that Beijing and Washington were not currently in talks.

That was backed up by Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said tariff negotiations with China had not started.

"They have not really begun yet," he told Bloomberg Television. "China's response to our complaints ... has been unsatisfactory."

Mnuchin declined to clarify the status of talks despite being asked repeatedly. "We're not going to do this and lay out out our negotiations in the public domain," Mnuchin said.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Fowler
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Williamsport
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Crawfordsville
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Frankfort
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Delphi
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Hotter & turning much more humid for the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events