The trade war between the United States and China showed no signs of yielding on Thursday, as Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, told lawmakers there was no clear path to resolution and Beijing blasted the administration over its approach.
Mr. Mnuchin, who has tried to avoid calling the trade tensions with China a “war,” said talks with Beijing had “broken down” and suggested it was now up to China to come to the table with concessions. President Trump, speaking in Brussels on Thursday, described the trade talks with China as a “nasty” battle.
.. “The administration needs to explain to Congress where this is all headed,” Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and the committee’s chairman, told Manisha Singh, an assistant secretary at the State Department, as she prepared to testify.
“To my knowledge, not a single person is able to articulate where this is headed, nor what the plans are, nor what the strategy is,” Mr. Corker said.
.. China has also had difficulty figuring out whom to negotiate with, after tentative agreements reached with Mr. Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, fell through.
“I think they’re coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter whether Mnuchin or Ross or anybody is in the front of the line, that it’s really going to be figuring out what Trump wants,”
.. “For the purpose of meeting domestic political needs and suppressing China’s development, the U.S. has fabricated a set of policy arguments that distort the truth about Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations.”