US open to facing repercussions: Mnuchin on trade deal with China

Washington [USA]: The United States is open to facing “repercussions” if it does not live up to its commitment in any deal, as trade talks with China are close to conclusion, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“It is more important to get it right than have an arbitrary date. I’m hopeful we’re getting close to the final round of concluding issues,” Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund here.

Reiterating that progress is being made with China to clinch a trade deal, Mnuchin added, “If we are able to conclude this, it will be the most significant change in 20 years.”

However, one sticking point has persisted throughout the rounds of negotiations held between USA and China until now. USA wants to retain the ability to impose fresh tariffs on China should the later backslide on its commitments, while Beijing wants the tariffs done away with, according to South China Morning Post.

“I would expect that the enforcement mechanism works in both directions, that we expect to honor our commitments, and if we don’t, there should be certain repercussions, and the same way in the other direction,” the US official said.

US President Donald Trump had earlier told reporters that the two sides are very close to reaching a deal, adding that the trade agreement would be “the granddaddy of them.”

However, practicing caution, Trump said: “If we have a deal, we’ll have a summit…If there’s no deal, we’re not going to have a summit.”

The US and China initiated the ninth round of trade talks in Washington D.C. in the first week of April. The trade dispute between the two countries would have originally seen the United States substantively increase tariffs on Chinese goods from March 1.

President Trump has since withheld the tariff increase as talks between the two sides have been “promising,” according to the leader.

The two countries now hope to reach a final trade deal which will be signed during a late-April summit at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to officials.