U.S. Treasury Secretary Unconcerned by New Trade Bloc

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Davos, SWITZERLAND--U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed little concern over the decision by 11 countries to forge a new commercial bloc that excludes the U.S.

During a briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Mnuchin responded to Tuesday's speech by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who extolled the new pact. Canada is part of the multination deal.

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Mr. Mnuchin said the Trump administration are "fans of bilateral trading agreements," adding that "anyone who wants to do trade on a reciprocal basis [with the U.S.] is free to do it."

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, also present at Wednesday's briefing, suggested Mr. Trudeau's remarks were meant to "put some pressure on the U.S." in the midst of ongoing talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The officials' briefing comes ahead U.S. President Donald Trump's arrival in Davos on Thursday. On Friday, he is slated to give a keynote address to the gathering of world leaders and top corporate leaders.

Write to Deborah Ball at deborah.ball@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 24, 2018 05:05 ET (10:05 GMT)

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