1. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary:
"I think there is a specific understanding that we're going to now turn the agreement that the two presidents have into a real agreement over the 90 days. Obviously some of the issues are are going to need to be phased in, some of the issues may need more detailed work. But the idea is there will be a real agreement, and as I've said, this the first time there was a commitment from China that the agreement will include specific dates, specific targets, specific action items. This is not going to be just kicking the can down the road."
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2. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary:
"(Reporter question: Is there an agreement that we'll talk about forming an agreement or are there real terms have been dictated that you can share?)
There were very, very specific items. So, you know, I mean, we've been working on this for the last year and a half. This is the first time we exchanged specifics on 142 different structural items. President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they're prepared to do on these issues and the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we've always talked about, but more importantly protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures, protecting U.S. technology. Currency, this was a big part of the discussion. We want to make sure that they don't depreciate the currency to do it to harm U.S. workers and U.S. companies. So yes this was very very detailed discussions, the dinner was for over three hours."
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3. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary:
"I think President Trump's strategy on tariffs were very effective. I think it it it created a first time a real change in the willingness to address certain issues. And I think President Trump and President Xi have developed a very important relationship. I think as the two largest economies, they both understand the responsibilities that we have. But let me just comment also, you know a big part of the dinner was obviously on the economic issues. The Fentanyl issue was a very, very big deal. President Xi said they're going to change major rules and regulations specifically because President Trump asked him and an understanding that this is killing many Americans. There was also very specific discussion on North Korea and a commitment that they will work with us to make sure that there is a nuclear free peninsula. Secretary Pompeo has been doing a great job and came out of that meeting with a real commitment from China and there's many other issues we have with China that we're going to that we're going to work on."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the White House Monday that there is a "real agreement" in the works between the U.S. and China on trade and other issues following President Donald Trump's three hour dinner with President Xi Jinping in Argentina Saturday night.
Mnuchin said the is the first time China has provided a commitment that "the agreement will include specific dates specific targets, specific action items. This is not going to be just kicking the can down the road."
He said there was an "an immediate focus on reducing auto tariffs," though he did not provide details or timing. Asked if there was a specific agreement to remove the tariffs, he said: "yes, there was."
Mnuchin stressed that the two leaders had detailed conversations on 142 items and said the goal now was to turn the talks into a "real agreement."
He said both leaders had extended invitations to visit their respective countries and said he expects them to meet in the near future.
Trump's promise gives Xi political room to negotiate after Beijing said earlier talks were impossible while Washington "holds a knife" of tariff threats to China's throat. But both leaders face a mix of economic nationalists, free trade advocates and other conflicting forces at home.