Mnuchin: US, China have agreed on enforcement for trade deal

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE announced Wednesday that the U.S. and China have agreed on an enforcement mechanism for an eventual trade deal during "productive" trade talks.

“We’ve pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism. We’ve agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters. So this is something that both sides are taking very seriously,” Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC.

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Washington and Beijing are currently negotiating to resolve a trade dispute after the two sides slapped billions of dollars of tariffs on each other last year.

President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE first imposed a series of levies accumulating to roughly $250 billion on imports from China. Beijing responded with retaliatory taxes on U.S. agricultural exports worth billions of dollars that targeted products exported from Trump-supporting agricultural states

Mnuchin declined to say if tariffs would be used as an enforcement tool for any deal.

Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' MORE have been meeting with Chinese officials to reach an agreement to further cool tensions across the Pacific. Washington and Beijing agreed in December to hit pause on any new tariffs in an agreement that also included an unquantified Chinese purchase of agricultural and industrial goods. The detente was further extended in February, with Trump citing “substantial progress” in talks.

“I think we still have some important issues to address but both sides are working very hard on this agreement,” Mnuchin told CNBC.

“What I will say is if we can complete this agreement, this will be the most significant changes to the economic relationship between the U.S. and China in really the last 40 years, and the opening of the Chinese economy will be a tremendous opportunity with structural changes that will benefit U.S. workers and U.S. companies and will help China," he said.