North Korea crisis: Mnuchin suggests China trade cut-off on the table

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested Wednesday that the Trump administration is willing to cut off trade with China in an effort to put pressure on North Korea.

“I've worked on an executive order that's ready if the president wants to use it,” Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier. “We can stop trade with any country that does business with North Korea.”

China is North Korea’s closest ally and commercial partner.

Pressed if the administration is really willing to stop trade with China, Mnuchin replied: “Stopping trade with anybody. Nobody would be off the table.”


President Trump issued the same threat earlier this month, posting on Twitter that the United States is considering halting trade with "any country doing business with North Korea." His remarks came after North Korea detonated a thermonuclear device in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

China responded by saying Trump's threat is unacceptable and unfair.

“We're going to be careful in using these tools,” Mnuchin said Wednesday, “but the president is committed. We will use economic sanctions to bring North Korea to the table.”

Mnuchin also expressed a desire during the interview to win support from both Republicans and Democrats on a tax reform package.

“Now more than ever it’s important to get tax reform done,” he said. “Because this is about economic growth, this is about economic recovery and with these two big hurricanes, we have to rebuild these areas of the country and we need to create economic growth.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.