April 30, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 21 days ago

U.S. treasury chief: 'Cautiously optimistic' on China trade talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Chinese officials will hold highly anticipated trade talks in China on Thursday and Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business Network, saying he was “cautiously optimistic” about the meeting.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin arrives for the State Dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macon at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Mnuchin said in an interview that aired on Monday that American officials planned to raise intellectual property rights, joint technology and joint ventures with Chinese officials.

“We’re looking to have a very frank discussion on trade, on the issues of the trade imbalance,” he said ahead of remarks due later on Monday at a conference in Beverly Hills, California.

China has said it is open to trade negotiations with the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese exports and threatened additional tariffs of $100 billion. China, in response, said it will impose its own tariffs on American products.

Asked about concerns over possible retaliatory measures by China, Mnuchin said: “It’s not a worry of mine,” adding that Trump was focused on “free and fair and reciprocal trade.”

The U.S. Treasury Secretary will be joined on the high-stakes trip by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be part of this week’s meeting, Mnuchin told the network.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe

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