U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the Trump administration has no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers.
At a news conference with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Mnuchin said that President Donald Trump recognizes the importance of trade for economic growth, but wanted it to benefit more U.S. workers and companies.
“It is not our desire to get into trade wars,” Mnuchin said. “The president does believe in free trade but he wants free and fair trade.”
The two finance ministers met for the first time ahead of a weekend meeting of top Group of 20 finance officials in Baden-Baden, Germany, amid worries about a pivot by the Trump administration towards greater trade protectionism.
Both ministers said the dialog was constructive, and said they would work together through differences to promote growth and prosperity.
“It was a good start,” Schaeuble said of the meeting, adding that it was a positive sign for international cooperation and the G20 process, which Germany is hosting this year.