She cited a jump in exports of electrical machinery - the biggest export item from China to the USA - as a sign exporters might have pushed out shipments ahead of implementation of the latest tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese exports. "We were led badly when it came to trade", Trump told "Fox & Friends".
"He doesn't feel the need to attack at all", Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin met on Thursday with Yi Gang, head of China's central bank.
"We are concerned about the depreciation" of the yuan, he said, "and want to make sure that it's not being used as a competitive devaluation".
"It's obvious that the immediate effects of the trade war are the exact opposite of what the Trump administration had been planning", said Andrew Polk of Trivium China, a Beijing-based economics research firm.
Mnuchin declined to confirm a Wall Street Journal report that the White House had chose to proceed with a meeting in November between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires. In April, he tweeted the claim three days after Treasury released a report finding that no major trade partner was gaming its currency. The Journal notes that as the United States has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow have been pushing for negotiations between the two countries.
"I expressed my concerns about the weakness of the currency".
Mnuchin said in the discussions he had with the Chinese they had made clear that they did not see a further weakening of the Chinese yuan as being in their interests.
President Donald Trump has publicly and privately pressured Mnuchin to declare China a currency manipulator, but Treasury staff haven't found grounds to do so, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Mnuchin said he expressed his concerns over the weakness of Asian nation's currency and reiterated the US push for market reforms as well as opening up trade between the two countries. But Mnuchin said this possibility did not concern him because it would not be in China's economic interests to start dumping its Treasury holdings.
"That would be very costly for them", Mnuchin said.
Communist officials have ordered companies to stop buying American soybeans - the biggest USA export to China - and find alternative suppliers and export markets for other goods.
China's surplus with the United States widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the American market rose 13 per cent from a year earlier to $46.7 billion, down slightly from August's 13.4 per cent growth.
The yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the US dollar this year. The tariffs are set to rise to 25 percent in January if the trade dispute is not resolved by then, and Trump has vowed to impose tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of Chinese imports. That prompted suggestions Beijing might weaken the exchange rate to help exporters. "It's on structural issues in the China economy".