Mnuchin says U.S. open to new China trade talks based on previous negotiations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is open to holding new talks with China if the two sides can proceed on the basis of previous negotiations.

Mnuchin, speaking to reporters after testifying at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, said Trump would defend U.S. farmers against retaliation and “be very careful” with exclusions from tariffs on Chinese goods to try to protect consumers and U.S. companies.

“We support our farmers. If China wants to come back to the table and move forward on the basis we were, we’re open for conversations,” Mnuchin said.

Talks between the world’s two largest economies to end their trade war had soured after Chinese negotiators sought major alterations to a text that had been negotiated for months.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe