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Mnuchin: The US economy is not damaged by trade fights

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that the US economy was hurt by trade disputes that were triggered by President Donald Trump's stubborn policies, some individual sectors were hurt , He said the government is looking for ways to help farmers and other affected industries.

Mnuchin spoke to reporters on the sidelines of meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 Nations, which consisted of traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany, and emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and Argentina.

Mnuchin said that tariffs had no negative impact on aggregate growth, but that certain industries were damaged because other countries retaliated by targeting certain industries.

"Certain countries have targeted very specific levels of things that are not coincidental," Mnuchin told reporters. "So if you look at lobster in Maine or look at bourbon in Kentucky or look at soybeans, markets are clearly being followed."

Mnuchin said that the administration "would consider various means of assistance to provide support to farmers" and other sectors that are "unfairly attacked" by tariffs from other countries.

"But I still think of a macroeconomic basis, We do not yet see any impact on a very positive growth performance "US economy this year, said Mnuchin.

At a meeting before the start of the G-20 meeting, US Treasury officials told reporters that Mnuchin was ready to raise concerns Christine Lagarde, the director of the International Monetary Fund, said at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires that the recent trade tariffs would cause considerable damage to the world economy 9013] "In the worst case scenario the present measures "the impact on the global economy" in the order of 0.5 percent " Global Gross Domestic Product on a Global Basis, Lagarde said.

The United States and China are now in a full-blown trade war, in which both nations impose tariffs on billions of dollars, with even higher tariffs threatening. Despite the stalemate, US officials said that Mnuchin did not plan individual meetings with China during the G-20 meetings. Mnuchin had about a dozen interviews with other countries.

In a recent appearance before the House Finance Committee, Mnuchin said the talks with China had collapsed, suggesting that the United States was waiting for China to make concessions to break the impasse.

The United States and China have beaten each other with tariffs on $ 34 billion worth of goods, and another $ 16 billion is in the pipeline. The Trump government is preparing to impose tariffs on another $ 200 billion, and Trump threatens to add another $ 300 billion.

On Saturday, the Finance Minister said the US government is very clear that the goal is a more balanced trade relationship with China.

"We bought $ 500 billion worth of goods from them, they bought $ 130 billion worth of goods from us, we share a desire for a more balanced relationship, and the balanced relationship results in us selling more goods." Mnuchin said.

In addition to the G-20 meetings, there will be a one-hour meeting between G7 finance ministers and central bank officials. Treasury officials said part of the meeting was to give G-7 officials the opportunity to discuss China's unfair trading practices.


AP business journalist Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this story.

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