Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, listens during a press conference at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photographer: Sarah Pabst/Bloomberg)

Mnuchin Seeks China Tariff Relief, WSJ Says; Treasury Denies It

(Bloomberg) -- Trump administration officials are considering measures to roll back tariffs on Chinese products in order to calm financial markets, the Wall Street Journal reported, a report the Treasury Department quickly denied.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is a proponent of easing up on tariffs, while U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has reservations about the idea, the newspaper reported Thursday, citing unnamed people close to the discussions.

The Treasury Department disputed that reporting.

Neither Mnuchin nor Lighthizer has made any recommendations with respect to tariffs or other parts of the negotiations with China, according to a Treasury spokesperson working with the administration’s trade team who characterized the talks as an ongoing process.

Mnuchin Seeks China Tariff Relief, WSJ Says; Treasury Denies It

Stocks initially surged after the report, before paring gains after the Treasury’s denial was published. Shares in Asia gained on Friday.

The report comes after China confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington at month-end for a new round of trade talks. President Donald Trump has pledged to hike tariffs on Chinese goods if the two sides can’t negotiate a sweeping trade deal by March 1.

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