Saturday, 15 Dec 2018

Mnuchin: The US economy has not suffered commercial battles

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that the US economy had not suffered the commercial battles unleashed by the policies of hardening of President Donald Trump. some sectors have been affected. He said that the administration was studying ways to help farmers and other specific industries that were affected.

Mnuchin met with journalists on the sidelines of meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Presidents of the Group of 20, composed of traditional economic powers. such as the United States, Japan and Germany and the emerging economic powers, including China, Brazil, India and Argentina.

Mnuchin said the rates had not had a negative effect on overall growth. countries responded by targeting specific industries.

"Some countries have targeted very specific levels of things that are not a coincidence," Mnuchin told reporters. "So, if you look at lobster in Maine or if you look at bourbon in Kentucky or look at soy, there are clearly some markets followed."

Mnuchin said that the administration would be "looking at different opportunities to help farmers" and provide assistance to other sectors being "unjustly targeted" by other countries' tariffs .

"But I still think from a macro basis, we still do not see any impact on what is a very positive growth" Mr. Mnuchin said at a briefing before the beginning of the G20 meetings that US Treasury officials told reporters that Mnuchin would be ready to respond to concerns raised by other countries about the Trump Administration's trade policies

. Speaking also in Buenos Aires at the G-20 summit, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said the recent round of tariffs would significantly harm the global economy. 9013] "In the worst case according to current measures" the impact on the world economy "is in the order of 0.5%" of gross domestic product globally said Lagarde.

The United States and China are now a full-fledged trade war with both nations imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of goods from each other with even higher tariffs under threat. Despite the stalemate, US officials said Mnuchin had not scheduled any one-on-one meetings with China at G-20 meetings. Mnuchin had about a dozen individual sessions planned with other countries.

In a recent appearance before the Financial Services Committee of the House, Mnuchin said the negotiations with China had failed and indicated that the United States was waiting. China has found concessions to break the stalemate

The United States and China hit each other with tariffs on $ 34 billion worth of goods with $ 16 billion in penalties . The Trump administration is preparing to impose additional duties of $ 200 billion and Trump has threatened to add $ 300 billion to this figure.

Saturday, the Treasury Secretary said that the US administration had made it clear that the goal was to have a balanced business relationship with China.

"We bought about $ 500 billion worth of goods, bought about $ 130 billion worth of goods from us, and we share the desire to have a more balanced relationship." In addition to G-20, there will be a one-hour meeting between the G-7 Finance Ministers and representatives of the central bank.The Treasury officials have stated that part of this meeting would be to allow to G7 officials to discuss unfair trade practices of China


Martin Crutsinger, AP writer in Washington, contributed to this story

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