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Steven Mnuchin: We’re Not In A Trade War With China, It’s A Trade Dispute

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration’s trade negotiations with China.

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Steven Mnuchin
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Steven Mnuchin: We're Not In A Trade War With China, It's A Trade Dispute

Transcript

Well I would say we couldn't be happier with the progress that we've made but we still have more to do. And I think you saw yesterday I was pleased to be with the president in Wisconsin. Here's a perfect example of bringing advanced manufacturing back to the United States. This never would have occurred if it wasn't for the tax cuts and for us changing from an international system that was broken to a very competitive tax system that now works for business and works for hardworking Americans. Last time I spoke with you I told you about people saying look in two years things are going to slow down quite considerably. You said I don't see that in terms of rates going higher interest rates a little inflation here and there we see where oil prices are we see where some products are in terms of consumer goods are they're moving higher in price. Are you worried that that cuts into the growth numbers that you're seeing I'm not worried. And Maria let's just put this in perspective. So first of all a year and a half ago when we were talking about 3 percent growth everyone was laughing and saying that was impossible. Now we're talking about getting a GDP number. That is 4 percent or higher. The Atlanta Fed is pushing it could be as high as four point seven. We see this growth and we're going to have sustained growth. We've been very clear. The plan is 3 percent or higher sustained growth. Now as it relates to inflation a little bit of inflation is a good thing.

So you know the Fed has actually put in for a while targeting higher inflation. Obviously during the campaign one of the things we've been very focused on is wage growth great financial markets for the last eight years. No wage growth for the last eight years. You can check that off the box. We've now thanks to President Trump's economic plan. We're seeing wage growth and we'll see I think inflation will be under control. But that's something we've got to be careful watch. We one uncertainty as you now tariffs and trade according to markets and individuals looking at the back and forth the tit for tat you've been leading the charge in terms of Beijing and our relationship there I know you you've talked a lot about the investment restrictions that we were expecting are not happening. Give us a status check of what's going on with China and the United States. Are we in a trade war. Or we're not in a trade war. We're in a trade dispute with that and we've been very clear our objective is to have reciprocal trade. And I think everybody understands this. We have one of the we have the most open investment market. The restrictions that we're putting forward through firma. This is about protecting critical technology. This is not about doing anything more than that whether it's China or anybody else. And we will continue to make sure that American workers and American companies get a fair fight in China and that's what this is all about. Big opportunity for American companies if we can get this right. Glad you mentioned Firma and SIFIs.

The group that's actually watching and tracking foreign investments in the U.S. and that's what you're going to strengthen right in terms of making sure that China doesn't continue stealing our technology or is there no answer to that. No there is an answer to that. OK. And whether it's China or anybody else we've been working with Congress for over the last six months we couldn't be more pleased. This passed in the house 400 to two. I mean think about it's incredible. I mean if that's not bipartisan what it actually. This is something that everybody agrees on. We want to protect United States critical technology and we're going to that's not directed at China that's directed at everybody and whether their joint ventures whether it's export controls we will make sure that the crown jewels of American technology are protected. And I think most people do get that you're right. People know that China has been stealing our intellectual property and forcing this transfer of technology. But but but what about the aluminum and steel tariffs Secretary Menuchin. I mean people are wondering yes we get the issue on China but why put tariffs on all of our allies if you really want to get to China why not team up with our allies in.

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