Mnuchin also provided a bit more clarity on the “border taxes” Trump has been tweeting about, saying Trump has no plan to institute across-the-board tax cuts on imports. Instead, those taxes would be levied only on specific companies that move jobs out of the United States and import products back into the country. “He’s referred to a small number of companies moving jobs and putting products back into the United States,” Mnuchin said. “In no way has he contemplated a broad 35% border tax.”With that statement we have some clarity as to a border tax. It is only going to effect some companies (this might be restraint of trade but might not hit the WTO) and not every import into the country. So Apple brings the iPhone production back into the US and they don't get hit with the tax but if they keep it in China they might get the tax. You have a ton of questions (when is the tax triggered, who levies it, etc.) but at least you have more transparency and it isn't some broad tax tweeted out at 3am. I was also waiting for this tid-bit.
Like Wilbur Ross, Trump’s nominee for Commerce Secretary, Mnuchin outlined plans to revamp trade deals with Mexico and China that sound less draconian than what has come out of Trump’s own mouth. With regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump faults for killing American jobs, Mnuchin said, “I’m optimistic we can renegotiate that deal in a way that is advantageous for us and advantageous for Mexico, and is a win-win for both countries.”So it goes from "Trade War with China and Mexico" to bilateral trade talks with each country with a win-win scenario in mind. It's what a CEO would do with a negotiation with a difficult supplier. Sit down and figure a way for both of parties to profit and come away with something decent. If all goes well we might have 3-4% US GDP growth and maybe get Mexico's GDP growth up from that dismal 1%. If you improve their economy then the immigration problem might disappear because Mexicans might stay home and make a better wage then risking their lives to cross the border.