Following the approval of new tariffs by the US on China, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated that he is optimistic about reaching an agreement with the Asian giant to avoid a trade dispute. Trump’s administration aims to jump-start China’s commitment to reduce the trade deficit by $100 billion with lower tariffs on U.S. automobiles, more semiconductor exports and greater access to China’s financial sector by U.S. companies. South Korea manages to be exempted from steel tariffs in exchange for a quota for its imports into the US. The US Treasury Secretary acknowledged in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that they are holding “productive talks” with China and said he is hopeful of reaching an agreement. Mncuchin’s words come after Trump announced specific tariffs on Chinese products, fines and complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for alleged trade law violations worth $60 billion.

The same day Trump told Mnuchin to propose new investment restrictions to Chinese companies within 60 days to protect strategic US technologies. The US President has publicly acknowledged that the goal is to reduce the trade deficit with China by $100 billion. Following the President’s signing, China responded with the announcement by imposing tariffs of up to US$3 billion (2.4 billion euros) on imports of some US products to compensate for losses caused by China’s steel and aluminium tariffs.