Mnuchin: Overall US economy not harmed by trade battles

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 22, 2018

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued a warning to China over the recent weakness of its yuan currency on Friday, telling Reuters that the Treasury is closely monitoring the yuan for signs of manipulation.Mnuchin said in an interview in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that the yuan's weakness would be reviewed as part of the Treasury's semi-annual report on currency manipulation, next due on October 15 based on activity for the first six months of 2018.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Group of 20 nations summit, Mnuchin tried to assuage investor concerns that a currency war was looming.

"We refuse to negotiate with a gun to the head", he said.

Asked about Trump's threat to hammer China with punitive tariffs on the entirety of the $500 billion in goods it exports to the US, Mnuchin said: "It is definitely a realistic possibility, so I wouldn't minimize the possibility". We share a desire to have a more balanced relationship.

"In the worst case scenario under current measures" the impact on the global economy "is in the range of 0.5 percent" of gross domestic product on a global basis, Lagarde said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is not trying to influence currency markets, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday, reiterating that a strong U.S. dollar reflects a strong U.S. economy and is in the United States' long-term interest.

"There's no question that the weakening of the currency creates an unfair advantage for them", Mnuchin said of China.

Argentina secured a $50 billion International Monetary Fund loan in June to stabilize its economy as investor confidence in crisis-hit emerging economies sunk, with some $14 billion taken out between May and June.

"The Central Bank of Argentina has put in place measures that helped reduce financial volatility and improve transparency", she added.

Trump is a real-estate businessman and, as such, closely follows interest rates, Mnuchin told reporters.

On Saturday, the Treasury Secretary said the USA administration has been very clear that the objective is to have a more balanced trading relationship with China.

"The company has approached us on certain de-listing issues (from the Specially Designated Nationals List)", Mnuchin said in an interview with Reuters in São Paulo ahead of G20 finance meetings this weekend in Argentina.

He acknowledged that the U.S. and European Union "don't see eye to eye on every single aspect" of the Iran nuclear deal but insisted there's a "consistent view that Iran should never have nuclear weapons" and that they should be prevented from exporting "terrorism" to the Middle East.

And he said sanctions on Venezuela were meant to "encourage better behavior" from President Nicolas Maduro's government and insisted it was "a reasonable guess" that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his allies would face penalties next. "We want to make sure crypto assets are not a source of that".

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