Those words seemed to soothe investors, with the Dow Jones industrial average ending Wednesday up nearly 1% after diving more than 500 points in early trade.
The Dow recovered slightly before the end of the trading end, falling 572 points. Most major USA trading partners are now exempt from what were initially global steel and aluminum tariffs. We can only hope that the initial counter-exchanges are the only measures, and that the talks prevent an ugly and protracted all-out trade war.
President Donald Trump also downplayed the prospect of a trade war, saying on Twitter Wednesday morning that "we are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S". Late on Tuesday, the Trump administration announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of annual imports from China, covering about 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products.
"It makes us nervous, for sure", said Aaron Low, senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs at the Auto Care Association, a group that advocates on behalf of the auto fix industry. Unsurprisingly, in response to the president's newest threat, China's Commerce Ministry said Beijing would have no problem issuing countermeasures, should it come to that. "These new tariffs will put some of this business in jeopardy, specifically pork, soybeans, fresh fruits and wine", Ring said in a statement.
Layne had just spoken with national bond-rating agencies on Thursday about the potential effect of the tariffs, which he described as "headwinds" for a state economy that has been counting on "tailwinds" from a federal budget deal this year that is likely to expand military spending in defense-heavy Virginia.
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
"I'm cautiously optimistic to work this out", Mnuchin said, adding that "I think that we can manage this without significant difficulty to the overall economy". "I've looked at it a little more critically and warily than that".
Others have been more critical.
Trump's current list of goods that will be affected by the tariffs ranges across 1,300 categories, while China is only targeting 106 classes of USA exports, including everything from soybean to passenger planes. However, the European Union, the U.S. and China have economies of roughly the same size.
In the brewing trade-war between the US and China, the list of losers already outweighs the winners. The many issues include the fact that you can not own land in China, that FDI's are limited to 49% of companies, which need a Chinese partner, that China does not respect intellectual property, that there is no rule of law in the pseudo-Communist one-party state.
Economists, businessmen and Republicans have warned that the trade war could end in devastation for the US economy.
By making its currency artificially cheap, as it has done in the past, China could lower the dollar price of both Chinese goods and American tariffs, while making American goods more expensive for Chinese consumers.
Markets recovered on Wednesday after stocks initially fell following China's announcement. "U.S. farmers are already petrified that retaliation will hurt them".
In March, Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but exempted most major countries except China and Japan.
China also urged the European Union to join it in taking a "clear stance" against USA protectionism, calling for Brussels and Beijing to "jointly preserve the rules-based multilateral trade order", said Zhang Ming, the head of the Chinese mission to the EU.