Washington, March 14 (Jiji Press) — The U.S. government is working to conclude trade talks with China on a priority basis, before starting trade negotiations with Japan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday.
“I would say right now our priorities are getting USMCA (United State-Mexico-Canada trade agreement) passed and getting the China deal complete,” Mnuchin told reporters.
He did not give a clear answer to a question whether Washington is ready to formally start bilateral trade talks with Tokyo in April, as proposed by the Japanese side.
An anticipated summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to finalize the Washington-Beijing negotiations will not take place this month, according to Mnuchin.
He said: “There had been some discussion about a presidential meeting at the end of this month. We’re not going to do it at the end of this month…because we still have more work to do.”
According to U.S. media reports, there has emerged an idea of holding the Trump-Xi summit in the United States in late April, while China is requesting to link a state visit by Xi with the announcement of a trade deal.