Mnuchin: ‘Cautiously optimistic’ about China trade meetings

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE said Monday that he is cautiously optimistic about upcoming meetings with China on trade issues.

“I'm cautiously optimistic about the meetings. I don’t really want to predict what’s going to happen, what’s not going to happen,” Mnuchin told Fox Business. “We’re going to go over there and have frank discussions.”

A U.S. trade delegation will travel to China this week to discuss tariffs and regulations with Chinese officials.

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Mnuchin said that he hopes to have “a very frank discussion on trade, on the issues of the trade imbalance.”

The meeting comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE implemented steep tariffs on Chinese goods that led Beijing to retaliate with their own tariffs on American goods. There is fear that such a face-off could lead to a trade war between the two nations.

The U.S. has not sent an advance team to China for preliminary negotiations — an unusual decision for these kind of meetings.

“President Trump has been very clear for the last year that he is very focused on the trade deficit and we are looking to correct that,” Mnuchin said.  

“The president is determined that we have free and fair and reciprocal trade,” Mnuchin added.

Trump has said he thinks there’s a good chance the U.S. can make a deal with China during the meetings.