The U.S. and China have settled on a way to enforce agreements made in a pact to end the trade war between the two countries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday in a CNBC interview.
"We've pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism,” Mnuchin said in the interview. “We've agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters. This is something both sides are taking very seriously."
Enforcement has been cited often by Trump administration officials as one of the most difficult issues to nail down in the talks. Mnuchin, who said he had a productive talk with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He Tuesday, would not comment on whether the enforcement agreement includes any or all of the $250 billion worth of U.S. tariffs remaining in place.
Trump has said he would like to see some or all of the tariffs stay in place to maintain leverage over the Chinese. China has been pushing hard for all of the tariffs to be lifted.
While a deal on enforcement would be a major achievement, Mnuchin stressed there was still much work to be done.
"We went into late last night, and we have another call scheduled for tomorrow morning. ... We still have some important issues to address, but both sides are working very hard on this agreement," Mnuchin said. “We are hopeful we can do this quickly, but we are not going to set an arbitrary deadline. If we can complete this agreement, this will be the most significant change to the economic relationship between the U.S. and China in really the last 40 years.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Mnuchin’s revelation was “very good news,” but noted that he’d wished it was U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saying an enforcement deal had been reached.
“I feel very good if that information is accurate,” Grassley told reporters. “Mnuchin is a little softer on trade issues with China than Lighthizer is, but they’re a team so maybe they’re on the same page.”
For more news, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com.