Mnuchin dismisses 'rumor' that China's commitments in phase one of trade deal was changed in translation

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday dismissed the “rumor” that China’s commitments in phase one of the trade deal were changed in translation.

During an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Mnuchin denied that China’s commitment to buy $40 billion to $50 billion of U.S. agricultural products and $200 billion of U.S. products over two years changed when translating the trade deal.

“It wasn’t changed in translation,” he said. “I don’t know where that rumor started.”

“We have been going through a translation process that I think we said was really a technical issue,” Mnuchin said.

The secretary also maintained that the “snapback provision” remains in the trade deal, which would allow the U.S. to snapback tariffs if China does not follow through with its promises. 

China has not yet confirmed those commitments, Reuters reported. Chinese officials have also not released many details about the agreement because the U.S. has switched positions repeatedly, three Chinese officials told Reuters last week.

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Host Maria Bartiromo asked why the English version of the agreement has not been released to the public to which Mnuchin responded it is expected to be published this week with the phase one trade agreement set to be signed Wednesday.

White House officials said as late as Friday that the Chinese text of the agreement was not finished, according to Reuters. 

The first phase of the trade deal will stop any additional tariffs and suspend some others but will still leave tariffs on $370 billion of Chinese imports, in addition to the Chinese purchasing commitments. The second phase will focus on more sensitive issues like digital trade, cybersecurity and Chinese state-owned companies.