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U.S. not considering suspending tariffs on China in response to coronavirus: Mnuchin

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President's FY2021 Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said the United States was not considering lowering tariffs on goods from China in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus, but would look at all options as the situation evolved.

“We’re not considering that at the moment, but as this progresses ... we’ll look at all the options that we think are important to help particularly SMEs and particular areas of the economy that are impacted by this,” Mnuchin told a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee.

He said a task force at the U.S. Treasury was looking at the situation of SMEs, or small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the outbreak, and could present specific recommendations to help those businesses.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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