Those remarks were echoed by President Trump himself, . who noted his good personal relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a tweet on Monday. This self-proclaimed nickname, "Tariff Man", has led to a wealth of jokes, including some superhero-related tweets that speculate about this newly minted Trump persona.
Mnuchin also stressed the US expects immediate action from China on its trade commitments.
As such, Trump was keen to reassure U.S. farmers that the negotiations with China would benefit them. China is supposed to start buying Agricultural product and more immediately.
Mr Xi and his most senior officials, including the Commerce Minister and the country's two top diplomats, are in Portugal, and due back in China on Thursday.
As White House officials fanned out to talk up what U.S. President Donald Trump called "an incredible deal" with China to hit pause in their trade war, Beijing has said little on a pact that cheered markets but left many questions unanswered.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the USA and China are "pretty close" to reaching agreement on intellectual property theft. The tariff had been previously set at 15%, but was ratcheted it up to 40% as part of a series of retaliatory measures taken by China against the US. "A solution for North Korea is a great thing for China and ALL!"
In the past 24 hours, there were signs that White House officials were beginning to backpedal from some of their initial optimism.
But he tweeted that "at some time in the future", Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and he "will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race". In September, the last month that was recorded, the monthly US trade deficit with China was $40 billion. At the end of the day, two realities remain: the U.S.is now an energy (oil and gas) producing super power alongside the ranks of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, while China, conversely, is the world's largest energy consumer, which gives it less leverage in ongoing trade and even geopolitical negotiations and developments.
China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the two presidents had instructed their economic teams to work towards removing all tariffs. Trump jolted auto stocks by announcing a deal had been reached.
FILE - Mike Starkey offloads soybeans from his combine as he harvests his crops in Brownsburg, Indiana, Sept. 21, 2018.
China imposed a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on imports of cars from the USA over the summer in response to Trump's own tariffs.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier in the day China has agreed to reduce tariffs on imported automobiles but declined to give details. "We said that you also have to demonstrate greater market access, and one of the many ways they can do that is by purchasing hundreds of billions of dollars of both agriculture and non-agriculture products".
Confusion has also arisen over when the agreed 90 day period for negotiations will kick in, with some saying it begins now, others claiming it's January. They wouldn't even acknowledge that there was a 90-day deadline under which they were operating.