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The Wall Street Journal: Is trade war with China ‘on hold’? Conflicting statements from Trump administration

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made conflicting statements on Sunday over whether the Trump administration plans to move forward with tariffs on Chinese merchandise entering the U.S.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday morning that the Trump administration would “put the trade war on hold,” and delay tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S., while the two countries hammer out details of a deal to reduce the yawning U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China.

And yet, hours later, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer released a statement that seemed to contradict Mnuchin. Washington may still resort to tariffs, as well as other tools including investment restrictions and export regulations, unless China makes “real structural change” to its economy, Lighthizer said.

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