Mnuchin says US-China trade deal could be sealed within two rounds of talks
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said today that he hopes the United States and China can reach a trade deal using two more rounds of talks.
Read more: US trade deficit shrinks as exports to China surge
Mnuchin told Fox Business Network that within the next two rounds of discussions it will become clear whether talks have succeeded or failed.
Mnuchin said there was “more work to do”, adding: "I think there is a strong desire from both sides to see if we can wrap this up or move on."
He said: "We hope within the next two rounds, in China and in [Washington] DC, to get to the point where we can either recommend to the president that we have a deal or recommend that we don't.”
Trade talks are due to resume again this week, with Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer travelling to Beijing today to try to thrash out a deal to avoid further tariffs.
US President Donald Trump has long complained about China’s trading practices. In September 2018, the Trump administration slapped tariffs on $200bn (£155bn) worth of Chinese goods.
Beijing struck back with levies on $110bn of US goods, targeting chemicals, coal and soybeans.
Earlier this month, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde voiced concerns that trade tensions between the two superpowers were hurting the global economy.
Lagarde said that tariff increases on goods traded between the US and China could reduce both countries’ GDP. “Nobody wins a trade war,” she said.
Read more: European stock markets rise ahead of US-China trade talks
Vice Premier of China, Liu He, will fly to Washington in May to attend a further round of trade talks.