The US Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, has warned that if an agreement is not reached between the United States and China by December, the US government will pose over $150bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.
Mnuchin warned in a statement after talks once again broke down between the two countries that if a deal was not made by December 15th, the US would be forced to take further action.
The Secretary has been quiet on the ongoing US-China trade dispute, though appears to have taken a more cautious approach to the talks than the President.
The US government is still hoping that the two countries will come to an amicable agreement over the next few weeks.
In early October, the US agreed to halt plans to place a 25-30% increase on tariffs of Chinese goods after two days of talks in Washington between US officials and China’s Vice-Premier, though they have yet to remove the possibility of higher increases should talks stall once again.
US officials have also warned that tariff increases could occur on a different set of products, regardless of whether an agreement was reached by this tentative deadline.
Currently, talks between the two countries have yet to touch on major monetary issues surrounding trade, and investors are increasingly worried that the economy will suffer further if a deal is not made.
The US dollar closed down several points after Mnuchin’s announcement- another addition to a slow decline in value for the currency.
The President, whose distaste for China was highly documented on the campaign trail and during his presidency, suggested that he may agree to a deal with the Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN summit in Chile this December, though has made no concrete promise to agree a deal on trade between the countries.
This comes off the back of optimistic reports from Chinese officials, who have stated that there was increasing progress between trade negotiators, but that any potential deal was still a long way off.
Meanwhile, the US economy has struggled to find its footing, with many pointing the finger at the lack of a trade deal between these two global superpowers.