US Treasury Secretary: ‘I don’t see in any way a recession’

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has claimed that America’s economy is unscathed after more than a year of trade war with China and Europe.

“I don’t see in any way a recession,” Mnuchin told Fox Business on Monday.

“There’s no question there’s been a considerable slowdown in the world economy both in China and in Europe but as you look at the US, we continued to be the bright spot.”

“We have not seen any impact on the US economy,” he added.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods. Trump has also labeled China a “currency manipulator,” adding fuel to the economic conflict. 

China has retaliated by hitting most of what the US exports to China.

The trade war has roiled global markets and raised the specter of a global recession.

Rising labor costs in China had already prompted some US companies with operations in China to begin looking for suppliers elsewhere before the trade war broke out in 2018, but experts say reciprocal tariffs have accelerated those moves.

Most US companies operating in China say they’ve been hurt by the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies but do not plan to exit the profitable Chinese market.

According to a recent survey by a prominent lobby group for US multinationals, some 81 percent of American companies reported being affected by trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, up from 73 percent last year.

The US-China Business Council (USCBC) said in its annual survey nearly half of US companies, or 49 percent, say they’ve lost sales because of tariffs China has imposed on US products in retaliation for American import taxes, said the trade group, which represents more than 220 US companies ranging from Boeing to Archer Daniels Midland and Hewlett Packard.

High-level trade negotiations between American and Chinese officials are due to take place in Washington next month.

Mnuchin on Monday expressed hope for progress.

“They’re coming here. I take that as a sign of good faith that they want to negotiate,” he said.

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