The United States plans to resolve its trade issues with Europe, Canada and Mexico before shifting its focus to China, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.
“We’ve put [Washington’s foreign trade objectives] in three categories: the first was really [the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta]; the second is dealing with the EU, which we are making progress on; and the third is China,” Mnuchin told CNBC.
Mnuchin’s comments echoed the apparent sentiment of President Donald Trump, who has said that now was “not the right time to talk” to China, according to Reuters.
It appears that the US-China trade war will not be resolved in the short term at least, with Mnuchin commenting that key issues such as intellectual property rights and market access for US companies are “not issues that are going to be resolved in any one or two meetings.”
“It can’t just be talk, it has to be follow-through as well. They have to open their markets. As [Trump] said, it’s not just about buying more soybeans, but we’re happy for them to buy more soybeans. This is about structural changes that create fair market access,” Mnuchin added.