Published: Sun, June 09, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Mnuchin: U.S.-China trade talks progress unlikely before G-20 summit

Mnuchin: U.S.-China trade talks progress unlikely before G-20 summit

Trump called off plans to impose a 5 per cent tax on Mexican exports, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking to reporters Saturday in Fukuoka on the sidelines of a meeting of financial leaders of the Group of 20 major economies, urged China to follow suit and return to stalled negotiations.

The initiative was debated on Thursday during a G20 Ministerial Symposium in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, with the world's leading industrialized countries coming out in favour of setting up a new tax model that is adapted to the digital economy, reports Efe news. "If we can't get the right agreement, we will proceed with tariffs", Mr Mnuchin said.

He said that if China wants to resume the negotiations on the basis of the texts prior to an early May breakdown of talks, the USA side is ready to engage.

Mnuchin said he would discuss the trade war with People's Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang in a meeting with him Sunday, but the meeting would not reach a definitive conclusion since specifics won't be addressed until President Donald Trump meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, who is hosting the talks, told reporters as the first day of talks wrapped up on Saturday that the world economy should "firm" in the second half of the year but "downside risks still remain".

Mnuchin said that the United States is willing to resume trade talks since a breakdown in negotiations a month ago, but the US administration would keep raising tariffs if a deal isn't reached.

The world's top financial policymakers admitted Sunday that "intensifying" trade tensions pose a risk for the global economy, after a G20 meeting that laid bare differences between the United States and other nations.

"Our markets are completely open to them".

Trump halts trade war threats as Mexico agrees 'strong measures' on migrants
Through June 5, 10,393 mostly Central Americans have been sent back to Mexico since the program started in January. The Trump administration has continually pushed for Congress to address the crisis at the border.

Officials said the U.S.

"I would say the USA has significant concerns with the two current taxes that are being proposed by France and the United Kingdom but let me give them some good credit for proposing them in the sense (that) they have created an urgency to deal with this issue", Mnuchin said at a public meeting before the formal G20 started.

Trump said on June 6 that he would wait until after the G20 summit before deciding whether to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods that could be worth $325 billion.

"Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified", the G20 said in a statement seen by AFP, adding they "stood ready to take further action" if required.

Nevertheless, if a deal were found, it would be a boon to the global economy as a whole, he predicted.

"We now have an agreement that we believe is going to fix the immigration issue".

The potential economic benefits for China were "part of the reason I don't understand why they went backwards because I think this could be a great outcome for them".

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