US, China trade war might end soon, Asia expert says

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He said they've had a "big impact" in damaging China's economy, claiming Washington's trade deficit with Beijing has gone down substantially.

"We need to do work in advance to be sure there are changes and we can have a more balanced trading relationship", the Treasury secretary said.

On Wednesday, FBI director Christopher Wray said that China represents the "broadest, most complicated, most long-term" threat to the U.S. and that it is waging a massive influence campaign over American voters ahead of the November midterm elections.

Fresh concern about a trade war with China and rising interest rates have in part sparked a broad US stock market sell-off, with the S&P 500 on Wednesday falling the most since February.

China retaliated last month by putting tariffs ranging from 5 to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of American goods, coming into effect the same day as the American measures.

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Ryan Hass, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, said: "President Trump is on track this year to preside over the new record for the largest trade deficit in the history of US-China relations, beating the record that was set under his watch last year".

Treasury said in its April report that it is considering expanding the number of countries it examines from 13, with analysts speculating that the number could go as high as 20.

"The fundamentals of the US economy continue to be extremely strong, I think that's why the stock market has performed as well as it has".

Trump is pressing China to improve trading conditions for United States products and to end what U.S. businesses say is widespread theft of their intellectual property.

"They lived too well for too long", Trump said of the Chinese during his Fox News interview.

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Treasury issues a currency report twice a year to Congress to identify countries that are trying to artificially manage the value of their currency to gain a trade advantage.

Commenting on this week's plunge in stock markets, Mnuchin called it a "natural correction", CNBC reported. "The president is concerned about the Fed raising interest rates too much and slowing down the economy".

Mnuchin said in the discussions he had with the Chinese they had made clear that they did not see a further weakening of the Chinese yuan as being in their interests.

Concerns have been raised that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys, might start dumping its holdings as a way to pressure the United States in the trade dispute.

The yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the USA dollar this year.

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"As it relates to today, there was nothing that specifically occurred today", Mnuchin said.

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