Mnuchin: ‘Cautiously optimistic’ about China trade meetings

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds Trump officials struggle to get coronavirus-relief loans out the door Kudlow says administration 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds 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 TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report 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.