Mnuchin has been a more moderate voice in trade talk discussions, with reports indicating he's against the trade war between the two countries, whereas U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his deputy Jeffrey Gerrish view the need for a tougher stance on China and trade.
"I think there's a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with and that addresses all of the key issues". He publicly said he's eager to make a deal that benefits both sides while also stressing that China's slowing economy and falling stock market signal the country is more desperate than the USA for a speedy outcome.
USA officials are in Beijing this week to continue trade negotiations with the Chinese government as the March 1 deadline for the countries' 90-day tariff truce draws closer.
The U.S.is looking to crack down on China's business practices, including allegations of technology theft along with slashing the trade deficit and getting more access to Chinese markets.
USA farmers and global seed companies have long complained about Beijing's slow and unpredictable process for approving GM crops for import, stoking trade tensions between the two sides.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has just told a daily news briefing on Wednesday that trade talks in Beijing between China and the United States have concluded and the results will be released very soon.
Without a resolution, punitive U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.
The talks went ahead despite tensions over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on US charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.
Lu also said Vice President Wang Qishan would attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in late January, but added that he had not yet heard of any arrangements for a meeting with Trump there.
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Trump has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese good and 10 percent duties on $200 billion of imports.
"As for whether the Chinese economy is good or not, I have already explained this".
During that G-20 meeting - which took place in the early days of December in Buenos Aires - Xi agreed to a number of concessions in exchange for Trump agreeing to postpone a round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
It was unclear if the ruckus over the warship might disrupt the working level talks being held at the Chinese Commerce Ministry.
China claims nearly all of the strategic South China Sea and frequently attacks the USA and its allies for carrying out freedom of navigation naval operations near the Chinese-occupied islands. "We have firm confidence in the strong long-term fundamentals of the Chinese economy".
Few details emerged of the trade talks, which were scheduled to run through Tuesday.
Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has led previous in-person trade meetings for the U.S. Those meetings have included top U.S. trade officials including Commerce Sec.