- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2018

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the meetings with China this week, according to a Fox Business interview that aired Monday.

“We’re going there to make progress. That’s our objective,” Mr. Mnuchin said in the interview.

Mr. Mnuchin, along with Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, and Robert Lightizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, are all slated to attend the meetings. Their main goal is to discuss trade with China, but there has been disagreement within the administration on the topic, leaving many to question what the talks will entail.

“We’re looking to have a very frank discussion on trade, on the issues of the trade imbalance,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

The main disagreement concerns President Trump’s pledge to increase tariffs on China, which the country later responded with its own tariffs on the U.S. Mr. Trump has also promised to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum but exempted several allies.

He added that Mr. Trump is “determined” to have a “fair and reciprocal” trade with China.

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