Mnuchin: There could be a trade war

Mnuchin: There could be a trade war
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocratic lawmaker calls Trump a 'moron' for his handling of Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need Congress to approve Iran strikes in interview with The Hill | New sanctions hit Iran's supreme leader | Schumer seeks to delay defense bill amid Iran tensions | Esper's first day as acting Pentagon chief Treasury inspector general to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills MORE said Sunday that there “could be” a trade war between the United States and China due to the recent tariff threats, but he does not expect one. 

“I don’t expect there will be a trade war. It could be, but I don’t expect it at all,” Mnuchin told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” 

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The Treasury secretary’s remarks come after the Trump administration said it plans to enact tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, a move that caused China to respond with its own $50 billion tariff package aimed at U.S. goods including automobiles.

The threats have caused concerns over a possible trade war, though President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE has dismissed this possibility. 

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

But Mnuchin emphasized on Sunday that he does not believe the administration’s actions on trade will have a “meaningful impact” on the United States economy.

“Our objective is free and fair trade,” he said.