A very confident Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on CNBC for a wide-ranging interview on current economic subjects. Within the discussion [14:00] Secretary Mnuchin affirms the U.S. economy is nowhere near “full employment”; an economic reality which highlights how much labor statistics were manipulated by political ideologues the prior administration(s).
Additionally, Secretary Mnuchin discusses the administrations’ focus on ‘reciprocal trade deals’ as the cornerstone of new trade constructs. This is a seismic shift in U.S. trade position. The secretary replaces the word “globalism” with a more nuanced “world-wide”; and “economic patriotism/nationalism” is replace with the word “territorial”.
Also worth noting is the larger dynamic of “intellectual property” (vis-a-vis China) and how the inherent Trump policies therein overlay trade positions between the U.S. and China. As we have previously mentioned the USTR Lighthizer 301 investigation into China could be exponentially more significant than Steel and Aluminum tariffs. Secretary Mnuchin confirms this aspect albeit with a measure of necessary opaqueness.