Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the news media after giving a television interview at the White House in Washington, December 3, 2018.
Leah Millis | Reuters
The “historic” phase one trade agreement reached Friday between the U.S. and China will boost global growth, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum on Saturday, Mnuchin said the partial deal would address a host of issues central to Washington’s trade agenda.
“This deals with intellectual property, this deals with technology transfer, it deals with structural agricultural issues, financial services are opening up, currency understandings, as well as a commitment to purchase U.S. agriculture and U.S. goods,” he said.
Mnuchin also dismissed the notion that the U.S. was pushing back on the rules-based trading system, arguing that a level playing field with China would benefit the global economy.
“For a very long period of time the U.S. was open to China, China was not open to the U.S. There were very strong restrictions and for the first and second largest economy in the world, there should be more trading back and forth and that’s what we’ve been working on, and I think these agreements will not only be good for the U.S., but will be very good for global growth,” he added.
Global stocks surged Friday as Washington and Beijing announced that the partial accord had been reached, averting the next round of U.S. tariffs after a bruising 18-month trade war.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators will now work toward setting a timescale to sign the agreement, which is still subject to legal procedures, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer telling reporters Friday that the two sides would aim to ink the deal in January in Washington.