Mnuchin Set to Encounter Chinese at G-20 But No Meeting Planned

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects to cross paths with Chinese officials at the G-20 conference in Japan this week, but no meetings are planned amid the two countries’ escalating trade war, an American official said.

The Treasury Department has no meeting between finance ministers of the two nations to confirm, a senior department official said Tuesday in a briefing with reporters ahead of the conference.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway last week said President Donald Trump may ask Mnuchin to meet with the Chinese. If a meeting were scheduled, it would be the first face-to-face talks since the two sides hit an impasse last month in two-year negotiations over trade. On May 10, Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent in retribution after the U.S. alleged Beijing backtracked on a tentative agreement.

The Chinese have blamed the stalemate on Washington and have promised countermeasures.

Mnuchin will attend the Group of 20 finance ministers’ summit in Fukuoka, Japan, from June 7 to 9. Chinese officials are also scheduled to attend along with 18 other counterparts for annual meetings.

Mnuchin will be accompanied by his deputy secretary, Justin Muzinich, the official said. The U.S. intends to discuss international tax policy and the benefits and costs of trade barriers, though Mnuchin doesn’t plan to raise the subject of tariffs imposed by Trump, the senior Treasury official said.

The official declined to specify which foreign officials Mnuchin will meet with on the sidelines of the summit.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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