WASHINGTON, Dec 3 — The US will need to see “something concrete” from China on trade in the next 90 days to build a real agreement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today.
President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening for three hours and had “very specific discussions” on steps to defuse the trade conflict, Mnuchin said on CNBC.
He said for the first time there was “a clear path” to reduce the US trade deficit with China to zero.
“There was a significant commitment from both leaders on what needs to be done over the 90 days and instructions to both teams to negotiate and turn this into a real agreement with specific action items, deliverables and time frames,” Mnuchin said.
Trump and Xi agreed to call a cease fire in the trade confrontation that involves hundreds of billions in bilateral trade and had roiled world markets for months.
Trump agreed to hold off on his threat to slap 25 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods from January 1, leaving them at the current 10 per cent rate.
In return, China is to purchase “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the United States.
The US trade deficit with China was US$335 billion last year and many manufacturers rely on inputs from the world’s number two economy, so eliminating the deficit would be an extraordinary goal.
But Mnuchin said, “I think there’s no question the president’s tariff strategy has worked. This is the first time they’ve responded on very, very specific issues.” — AFP
Source: The Malay Mail Online