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Mnuchin Talks China, USMCA: 'We Look Forward To All These Year-End Wins'

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was a guest on CNBC Thursday to discuss the USMCA and Chinese trade deals.

Benzinga · 12/19/2019 20:35

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was a guest on CNBC Thursday to discuss the USMCA and Chinese trade deals.

Mnuchin Says USMCA Should Spur GDP Growth

The USMCA trade deal will replace the NAFTA agreement, and once enacted will contribute an incremental 50 basis points of GDP growth, Mnuchin told CNBC.

But simply calling this trade deal "NAFTA 2.0" is a mistake, as it replaces an outdated trade agreement that needed to be updated for the modern era, he said. 

A new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is "incredibly important" to American workers, Mnuchin said.

Some of the new parts of the trade deal include allowing small businesses to compete "more fairly," expanding agricultural opportunities, protecting digital trade, financial services, and more importantly, protecting data localization, he said. 

The USMCA trade agreement will also serve as a model for future trade agreements with other countries, the Trump cabinet member said. 

China

One part of the "Phase One" trade deal with China involves a drastic uptick in exports to China at a rate that was "never seen" before, CNBC's David Faber noted.

Mnuchin said American agricultural exports will double in size to China, but American farmers "will be able to deliver."

"We have been working with industries, this isn't something that just occurred overnight," he said.

The trade deal is in a "technical, legal scrub" phase and will be ready for both U.S. and China to sign into law in the beginning of January, Mnuchin said.

Impeachment

Mnuchin said the economic agenda won't change at all as the result of President Donald Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Trump is ending 2019 with tremendous momentum in terms of his economic policies with the passage of the USMCA and "Phase One" trade deal with China, Mnuchin said. 

The impeachment is a "partisan issue" as opposed to trade issues that have bipartisan support, he said.

"This is what the president has been delivering on the economy and we look forward to all these year-end wins." 

Related Links:

USMCA Gains Bipartisan Backing

What The Pros Are Saying About Phase One Of The US-China Trade Deal

Screenshot courtesy of CNBC.