Tuesday, December 4, 2018

WHAT? Mnuchin Warns China Against Going Soft on Trade Deal

What kind of trade deal do you have if you have to warn the other side within 48 hours of the deal not to go soft on it?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has just warned China to avoid “soft commitments.”

In a telephone interview with the Financial Times after the trade truce was sealed at a dinner following the G20 summit, Mnuchin urged Beijing to flesh out pledges made in Buenos Aires in negotiations over the next three months.

“There’s a 100 per cent unanimous view on our economic team that this needs to be a real agreement,” Mnuchin said. “These can’t be soft commitments from China. There need to be specific dates, specific action items,” he added.

The FT states the obvious:
Mnuchin’s comments suggest there is doubt among US officials about whether China will live up to the terms of the truce.
The only thing that appears certain, and it isn't a bad thing, is that President Trump will not increase tariffs in any fashion against China over the next 90 days.

It is not clear if there are any solid commitments from China.



  1. Commerce , asked about Trump-Xi deal on CNBC: 'We shall see' what China commits to. "Now comes the hard part, which is translating that into an agreement. Our hope is that in the 90 days we will pin down ways to really implement the broad outlines" of the deal.
  2. He was also asked about the auto tariff report his department is overseeing. Said Trump promised he will not impose tariffs on the Europeans as long as talks are ongoing. "The timing of this whole thing will largely be driven by these negotiations."

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