Advertisement

Mnuchin: No evidence tariffs, trade spats having negative impact

By
Danielle Haynes
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies Thursday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the state of the international financial system on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies Thursday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the state of the international financial system on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 12 (UPI) -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the Trump administration hasn't seen any negative impact of trade battles with key U.S. allies, as members of the House Financial Services Committee offered examples of industries struggling because of the retaliatory tariffs.

Mnuchin appeared before the committee to answer lawmakers' concerns about how the tit-for-tat tariffs with China, European Union, Canada and Mexico are affecting U.S. jobs and revenues.

Advertisement

Reps. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., and French Hill, R-Ark., warned that soybean growers in their states stand to lose millions of dollars in sales to China after Beijing imposed 25 percent duties on certain U.S. agricultural products July 6.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, said car dealerships could take a hit, while Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., worried about the bourbon industry.

RELATED Chinese media decry Trump trade policy as 'crazy,' blames 'America first'

RELATED Midwestern farmers brace to lose billions in trade war

"Not only do tariffs harm American consumers, they harm many American employers and their American workers as well, since over half of our imports are intermediate components or raw materials for American businesses," said committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

Advertisement

Mnuchin said the Trump administration was "very carefully" monitoring domestic industries, but stood by the U.S. tariffs. He said the administration's focus on "free and fair trade" would instead benefit the U.S. economy.

"We have not yet seen any negative impact," he told the committee.

RELATED Dow Jones drops 219 points after Trump unveils China tariffs

"We should be doing things that make sure our companies can compete fairly in the export market," he added. "They've unfairly targeted specific markets and that's not coincidental."

Mnuchin denied that the United States is involved in a trade war, but is instead "in a situation of trade disputes."

RELATED OPEC sees few long-term pressures from trade war

RELATED Shippers respond to U.S. steel needs in the face of tariffs

Latest Headlines