BEIJING: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that he hopes to make “substantial progress” with Chinese negotiators in the next two rounds of trade talks, as the world’s two largest economies look for ways to end their bruising trade war.
Mnuchin was speaking in Beijing, where he and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will hold talks this week, before Chinese Vice Premier Liu He goes to Washington next week for another round of talks, in what could be the end game for negotiations.
“We’ve a meeting here, and then the vice premier and team will be coming back to Washington D.C., and we hope to make substantial progress in these two meetings,” Mnuchin told reporters.
Beijing and Washington have cited progress on issues including intellectual property and forced technology transfer to help end a conflict marked by tit-for-tat tariffs that have cost both sides billions of dollars, disrupted supply chains and roiled financial markets.
“I’m not going to comment on specific issues of the discussions,” Mnuchin said on Tuesday. “They’ve been quite broad as I’ve said before. We’ve made a lot of progress. We look forward to the meetings here.” US President Donald Trump said on April 4 that the two sides could have a deal worked out in about four weeks. Last week, he said he would soon host Chinese President Xi Jinping at the White House — a meeting seen as needed to cement an agreement.
Mnuchin, speaking to Fox Business Network in an interview that aired on Monday, said the trade negotiations aimed at enforcement is close to finished.
China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday at its daily press briefing that substantive progress had been made on the talks but gave no details.