Mnuchin says Trump could ease up on Huawei if trade talks advance

President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Wednesday

"If they want to come back to the table and complete the deal on the terms that we were continuing to negotiate, that would be great", Mnuchin said, according to the Times.

Mnuchin said that although he would be holding one-on-one talks with Chinese central bank chief Yi Gang during the G20 finance meeting in the western Japanese city of Fukuoka, this would "not be a negotiating meeting".

Nevertheless, Mnuchin also pointed to the positive boost to the world economy that could result from a breakthrough in trade talks, likely to be the main focus of a meeting between the United States and Chinese leaders at a G20 summit later this month.

Trade negotiations have since stalled after Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent last month.

Following 30 hours of wrangling in what one official described as a "tense" atmosphere, the G20 finance minister and central bank chiefs produced a final statement acknowledging that "growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside".

"'I don't think it's a breakdown in trust", Mnuchin said, referring to U.S.

"A worsening of the worldwide climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors", Le Maire told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of the meeting.

"From our perspective of where we are now, it is a result of them backtracking on significant commitments", Mnuchin said.

However, the treasury secretary from the USA, which continues to threaten more tariffs on China if there is no trade deal, played down the risk of a global economic conflagration.

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"Although I don't like them, I do appreciate the impetus for these issues", added the top US finance official. They did not refer directly to the tariffs war between the United States and China, though leaders participating in the meetings indicated it was the No. 1 concern.

Not everyone is as sanguine about the economic impact of the trade tensions. He also said that, as of Saturday, there were no plans for cabinet-level officials to travel to Beijing or Washington to prepare for the two presidents' summit.

"We were on the way to a historic deal".

"The China-U.S. issue is all you ask about".

In a Twitter post that showed the two clasping hands, Mnuchin said he and Yi "had a candid discussion on trade issues".

China and the U.S. have publicly traded barbs since before the blacklist, but a June deal between Russia's largest network provider and Huawei to build 5G internet marked a significant escalation in the hostile dialog between the countries.

Mnuchin told reporters that he expected that any major progress in resolving the impasse would likely come at a meeting of Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping during the G-20 summit in late June in Osaka, Japan. The countries are unable to find a compromise on Trump's tariffs, with the U.S. arguing for keeping many of them and Beijing insisting that they must come off as part of any trade deal.

"We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, to keep our markets open", they said.

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