Bannon: Mnuchin is giving China everything they want on trade

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon blasted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, criticizing Mnuchin’s attempt to call a truce over a brewing trade war with China. 

Bannon told Bloomberg that President Trump “changed the dynamic regarding China, but in one weekend Secretary Mnuchin has given it away.”

Bannon’s comments came after Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that the U.S. had put the tariffs for China on hold while they try to execute the framework.

The comment came a day after the U.S. and China released a joint statement in which they pledged to “substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China.”

The trade deficit reached a record $375 billion last year, according to Bloomberg. 

Bannon said Mnuchin’s comment shows he “misses the central point” of economic competition, adding that Mnuchin’s statements are out of line with Trump’s base. 

“They’re in a trade war with us and it hasn’t stopped,” Bannon said. “Mnuchin has completely misread the geopolitical, military, and historical precedence and what President Trump had done was finally put the Chinese on their back heels.”

Trump defended the negotiations in a pair of tweets Monday morning, saying that “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!” 

China praised the latest development as well, with the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang telling reporters in a briefing that both countries understand reaching a consensus is beneficial for everyone, according to Reuters.

“China has never hoped for any tensions between China and the United States, in the trade or other arenas,” Lu said.

Tags China Donald Trump Steven Mnuchin Trade trade war

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