Mnuchin: There could be a trade war

Mnuchin: There could be a trade war
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts The case for Russia sanctions Treasury issues final rules on key part of Trump's tax law 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.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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.