US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinon Saturday said he is considering a trip to China to resolve the differences over trade, after Chinese Ministry of Commerce confirmed that Beijing and Washington have not started any negotiations regarding recent trade frictions.
“A trip is under consideration,” Mnuchin said at a press conference during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington. “I am not going to make any comment on timing, nor do I have anything confirmed, but a trip is under consideration.”
When asked what he wants from a trade deal with China, Mnuchin said, “If we have a deal, you’ll know what it looks like when we have it.”
US President Donald Trump has been blaming China for the country’s trade deficits and planned to impose high tariffs on Chinese imports, while China said it is well prepared to deal with any negative effects from the trade spat.
China filed a request for consultation under the WTO framework earlier this month in the wake of US’ announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and the US responded it is willing to negotiate.
But the US response is only “procedural”, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said last Thursday, noting that there has not been any trade negotiation between the two countries and the US has acted in total denial of multilateralism and against WTO rules.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Saturday warned that there would be no winners from a trade war.
“It is important that as a global community we keep trade open, we ensure that we work within the multilateral system that we have to make sure if there are disputes, these disputes are resolved,” she said at a press conference.