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US putting “trade war” with China on hold — Mnuchin

WASHINGTON, The United States will not impose tariffs on Chinese products for now while the two nations work on a framework, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday. “We’re putting the trade war on hold, right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to executive the framework,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” Mnuchin’s remarks followed two days of high-level trade talks in Washington late last week. The meeting concluded with an agreement from China to “substantially reduce” the US trade deficit by boosting purchases of American goods and services. Tensions between the two largest economies spiked last month when President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on up to USD 150 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for violating American intellectual property. China vowed to retaliate with tariffs on everything from soybeans to airplanes.

White House White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, told to ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sunday the President is pleased by the progress on trade. “We made a lot of progress here in Washington and built on what happened in China a couple weeks back. The president is in a very positive mood about this,” he said. Mnuchin said Commerce Secretary will head to China to continue efforts to hammer out a deal that includes commitments on US agriculture and energy exports. “We are immediately going to follow this up with [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross going there with very hard commitments in agriculture, where we expect to see a very big increase – 35-40 percent increases – in agriculture this year alone,” Mnuchin said.

On energy targets, Mnuchin said the US hopes to double it’s energy sales to China. “I think you could see USD 50, 60 billion a year of energy purchases over the next three to five years. And strategically that’s very important for us and very important for them,” Mnuchin said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency