News ID: 189588
Published: 0938 GMT March 19, 2017

US backs free trade but seeks change in some deals: Mnuchin

US backs free trade but seeks change in some deals: Mnuchin

The United States believes in free trade except in the case of some agreements, which need reexamination, says US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Trump administration official made the remarks on the sidelines of a two-day G20 finance meeting in Germany.

"We believe in free trade: we are one of the largest markets in the world, we are one of the largest trading partners in the world, trade has been good for us and good for other people. Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements - you know,” Mnuchin said, mentioning some of the US deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as the US membership in the World trade Organization (WTO).

“We have obviously talked about re-examining NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). That agreement was done a long time ago and we have had conversations with the Canadians and Mexico on that," he said. "We think that there's parts of the WTO that aren't being enforced and we've said that we will look to aggressively enforce things in the interest of American workers and to the extent that agreements are old agreements that need to be renegotiated we will consider that as well.”


He further concluded that “balanced trade as the largest global trader, balanced trade needs to be what is good for us and what is good for other people, it needs to be a win-win situation and I am confident we will get to that."

Since Donald Trump gained power as the president of the United States on November 8, 2016, concerns have grown over the stability of some the strongest US agreements with its allies, which the New York billionaires has threatened to renegotiate or get rid of.

‘Berlin owes a lot to NATO

Ahead of Mnuchin’s remarks and following a Friday meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, Trump asserted that Berlin should pay the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) more for the defense the US provides.

The president also refused to shake hands with Merkel, which grabbed the media attention and highlighted the rift between the US and Europe.


On Saturday, the US commander-in-chief said on Twitter that “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”



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