1. Pan, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin walks to microphones
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary:
"I think there's no question the U.S. economy is in very good shape. As we look around the world, there's no question that China is slowing, Europe is slowing. The US is the bright spot of the world and in regards to a middle class tax cut, you know, we'll be looking at tax cuts 2.0. It's something that'll be something we'll consider next year. But right now the economy is in very, very good shape."
3. Pan, reporters to Mnuchin
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary:
"But, I will say we are looking forward to a (Chinese) vice minister level (meeting) here this month. We're also looking forward to the Vice Premier coming early next month. So we're looking forward to a lot of work being done in time for when (US Trade Representative Robert) Ambassador Lighthizer and myself meet with the Vice Premier. They are in the middle of the month.
(Reporter: Can you tell us how the talks are going with the French taxes and whether in the wine tariffs they're still on the table?)
Sure. So, what we agreed to at the G-7 with the French is that we would spend 90 days trying to work to see if the U.S. and France could reach an understanding, a conceptual understanding on an international agreement. And I think that's the first step to us both promoting an international agreement and that's what we're working on. They're complicated issues. We're meeting with lots of companies. We actually have a bunch of the digital companies coming in this week to Treasury. We have multinationals coming in next week. So we're gonna make sure that business supports whatever we do."
5. Pan from reporters to Mnuchin
SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary:
"I think we're operating under the belief that it will (USMCA) get to the floor and I know we're we're pleased that Congress is back. Ambassador Lighthizer has been working very closely with the House. I've spoken to Speaker Pelosi several times about this as has the Ambassador and we're hopeful that now that Congress is back they'll focus on it. And if there are a few small changes that he needs to work with Congress, I know he is talking to them but this is a very important deal to the U.S. economy, U.S. workers, agriculture, digital. It's an encompassing deal and something that I think is very important. So I look forward to being .. having it be passed."
6. Cutaway reporters
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary:
"Well, I specifically stopped in London on the way back from the G-7 to meet with my new counterpart the Finance Minister (Sajid) Javid. You know, I would say it is. I met with them before all the changes have gone on. But I have been in direct contact with him several times and they're dealing with their own political issues. So whoever thinks we have political issues, they're dealing with their own political issues at the moment."
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary:
"I expect the governor of the People's Bank of China to come over for these talks. So part of the conversations we will be having with them is around currency and currency manipulation, but that's never come up. (Chinese dumping of US financial bonds.) Thank you everybody."
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Monday said he was looking forward to continuing talks with Chinese government officials over stalled trade negotiations.
He said talks in the middle of September would include delegates from the Chinese vice ministerial level and that the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was coming to the U.S. early next month.
"We're looking forward to a lot of work being done in time for when (US Trade Representative Robert) Ambassador Lighthizer and myself meet with the Vice Premier. "
China's trade with the United States is falling as the two sides prepare for negotiations with no signs of progress toward ending a tariff war that threatens global economic growth.
Imports of American goods tumbled 22% in August from a year earlier to $10.3 billion, customs data showed Sunday. Exports to the United States, China's biggest market, sank 16% to $44.4 billion.
Despite the planned October talks, the two governments escalated their fight on Sept. 1, imposing or increasing penalties on billions of dollars of goods. President Donald Trump plans another increase Oct. 15.
Praising the strength of the U.S. economy, Mnuchin also said talks were continuing with the French over a digital tax and pushed for Congress to take up the USMCA trade agreement.
He also said he was in touch with the British Government over the Brexit situation.
"Whoever thinks we have political issues (in the U.S.), they're dealing with their own political issues at the moment."