The United States will not lift tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday.
“As it relates to China, the steel and aluminum tariffs will remain in force. Those were not part of our discussions,” Secretary Mnuchin said in a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Mnuchin said the trade negotiations focused on the $150 billion of tariffs the U.S. had planned to slap on Chinese goods, the so-called Section 301 tariffs justified by the threat to U.S. intellectual property. The steel and aluminum tariffs were put in place under a different law that authorizes the president to take action when trade threatens national security.
“We were merely focused on the proposed $150 billion,” Secretary Mnuchin said.
Over the weekend, Secretary Mnuchin announced that the U.S. was putting the broader tariffs on hold because trade talks with China were making significant progress.