U.S. Markets

U.S. to seek 'like-minded' G20 countries to counter China: Treasury official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will seek to work with “like-minded” countries at the Group of 20 finance leaders meeting early next week in Argentina to push back against China’s state subsidies and investment policies, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Thursday.

The official told reporters on a background briefing call that he does not expect President Donald Trump’s recently announced global steel and aluminum tariffs to interfere with efforts to deal with what he called China’s “move away from market liberalization.”

The process for U.S. allies to seek exemptions from the national security tariffs on steel and aluminum allies is still unclear, with European Union officials expected to meet with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross next week on the process.

But the Treasury official said that the EU and other major economies have recognized the problems caused by China’s excess production capacity for steel and aluminum, Beijing’s subsidies to state-owned enterprises and its foreign investment policies that he called a “challenge to security and to financial stability.”

“The world is recognizing these problems and is seeking ways to deal with it,” the official said. “So I think we will be able to continue working with countries on each aspect of this.”

The official acknowledged that there will be some trade frictions, but said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will also be working to build G20 consensus in such areas involving growth, combating the financing of terrorism and developing and implementing new payments standards for crypto-assets.

Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Diane Craft