Mnunchin
Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, pauses during a panel session on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21 - 24. Image Credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

DAVOS: The United States has no hard deadline to conclude the next phase of trade talks with China, but tariffs would not be cut until the next round, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“As related to phase 2, I would say there is no deadline,” Mnuchin said at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. “The first issue that we’re very focused on in the next 30 days is implementing phase 1, then we’ll start on phase 2.

“If we get that done before the election, great, if it takes longer, that’s fine,” he said.

The U.S. and China concluded a major trade deal this month after months of sometimes bitter negotiations, but Mnuchin said that the next round of talks could easily be broken into smaller parts, yielding several deals.

As related to phase 2, I would say there is no deadline. The first issue that we’re very focused on in the next 30 days is implementing phase 1, then we’ll start on phase 2.

- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

“We could easily have phase two A, two B, two C, it doesn’t need to be a big bang, and we’ll take tariffs off along the way, so there is a big incentive for the Chinese to continue to negotiate and conclude various additional parts of the agreement,” Mnuchin said.