Phase 2 of the trade agreement with China will not necessarily be a major change that will lift all existing tariffs, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Mnuchin also warned that Italy and Britain would face US tariffs if they proceeded to tax ‘digital’ companies such as Alphabet’s Google and Facebook, according to the report.
Mnuchin’s warning to Italy and Britain comes after France withdrew and pledged with the US to avoid a trade war at least until the end of the year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged in December to force large multinationals to pay their tax. Italy has approved a similar tax in the 2019 budget but has not yet implemented it.
Mnuchin said he hopes Britain and Italy will suspend their tax plans, according to the report. ‘Otherwise, they will be confronted with President Trump’s duties. We will have similar discussions with them as well.’