Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC that the talks he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer led in Washington last week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were "very productive". And even if they end up benefiting exporters in other countries, they also risk setting off a damaging sequence of negative effects around the world.
Countries that are expected to benefit the most from the trade war are European Union members; the United Nations study indicates that exports in the bloc are likely to grow by $70 billion. The confrontation quickly escalated, and in September 2018 the United States imposed 10% tariffs covering about $200 billion of Chinese imports, to which China retaliated by imposing tariffs on imports from the United States worth an additional $60 billion.
Trump said he has great respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his administration was working on a new trade deal with China.
The IIF study also found that the tariffs had done little to reduce the USA bilateral deficit with China, amid retaliatory duties from Beijing and "a large reduction in China's imports from the U.S".
"The implications for the entire worldwide trading system will be significantly negative".
In a news conference, Coke-Hamilton quoted former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who compared protective tariffs to "a gun that recoils on ourselves".
Bilateral talks have centered on addressing US demands for deep structural changes to China's economic and trade policies, including new protections for USA intellectual property, ending forced technology transfers, reining in China's subsidies for state industries and increasing Chinese purchases of US farm, energy and manufactured products.
In a report, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) examined the repercussions of the tariff tit-for-tat already under way between the two trade giants, as well as the expected impact of a significant tariff hike scheduled to take effect on March 1.
The higher cost of US-China trade would prompt companies to shift away from current east Asian supply chains, but report suggests it's unlikely that US firms would pick up that business. The closest Trump came to a tech industry issue, however, was the US trade war with China.
Although these figures don't represent a large slice of global trade - which was worth about $17 trillion in 2017 - for many countries they make up a substantial share of exports.
The ongoing trade tensions initially came to a head in early 2018 when China and the United States imposed tariffs on about $50 billion of each other's goods. Japan, Mexico and Canada will each capture more than $20 billion.
"One major concern is the risk that trade tensions could spiral into currency wars, making dollar-denominated debt more hard to service", the report adds. Tariffs on American soybeans prompted Chinese importers to switch to Brazilian suppliers past year.