The United States heads to next week’s Group of 20 finance ministers meeting looking for partners in confronting Beijing over its trade practices, a senior Treasury Department official said Thursday.
Talks in Buenos Aires between the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies will occur amid raw tensions over President Donald Trump’s increasingly confrontational trade policies.
The White House last week announced a raft of tariffs and is poised to unveil more soon.
‘We have been working with like-minded countries around the world to recognize the problems that China’s trade policies and investment policies cause for the rest of the world,’ the Treasury official told reporters in a briefing given on condition of anonymity.
‘There’s been substantial recognition of this problem.’
A senior Trump trade advisor warned Thursday the president will soon consider additional tariffs on Chinese products to retaliate for China’s alleged theft of American companies’ intellectual property.
US officials have long accused Beijing of fostering massive overcapacity in the metals sector and forcing foreign companies to surrender proprietary technology as a condition of operating in China.
But US trading partners have condemned Washington’s decision to impose sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, with markets and lawmakers warning of the risk of a trade war and higher consumer prices.
The Treasury official also said the United States would work to address energy investment in Latin America and the current crisis in Venezuela as well as possible new regulations for cryptocurrencies and counterterrorism finance, particularly concerning North Korea’s nuclear program.
The United States will seek to build consensus in these other areas even if trade policy remains a source of tension, the official said.
‘While there can be trade frictions there can also be a lot of cooperation in areas involving growth, in involving terrorism financing, involving crypto assets and that’s what I expect,’ the official said.