After a two-and-a-half hour dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone an increase in the tariff rate on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent that was scheduled for January 1.
But Mnuchin said, "I think there's no question the president's tariff strategy has worked".
If an agreement isn't reached by 90 days, the current 10% tariffs on $US200 billion Chinese imports will jump to 25%, the White House said.
Later that month, China reduced the tariff rate to 15 percent on all imported vehicles while raising it for US cars to 40 percent.
During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the USA agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from United States farmers.
"Make no mistake about it: The issues that we have with China are deep structural issues, and you're not going to resolve all of them in 90 days or even 180 days", said Dean Pinkert, a former commissioner on the U.S. International Trade Commission and now a partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
President Trump's trade war with China is on hold.
"Further, we are encouraged by the Trump administration's commitment to engaging with the Chinese government in order to reach an agreement with respect to forced technology transfer and intellectual property protection", Hanvey said.
China will agree to purchase a not yet finalized but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the United States to reduce the imbalance.
In a series of tweets Monday, the president said his meeting with President Xi Jinping was an extraordinary one.
The increases come after the USA and China said they had agreed to not increase tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks. The confusion was exacerbated by the absence of a joint statement from the US and China following the dinner.
While the meeting didn't mean the trade war has come to an end, the agreement offered hope for a resolution of trade disputes, especially for the semiconductor industry that relies heavily on the manufacturing steps in multiple geographic regions, according to William Stein, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
"What he's saying to his own people has more long-term validity than what he's saying to Trump over dinner for the sake of everyone saving face", Khanna said.
US stock indexes also opened sharply higher in NY at the start of a new work week, with the widely watched Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 key stocks ahead more than 1.5 percent.
The US and China have been locked in a bitter trade war for several months with the two economic powerhouses sparring in a tit-for-tat slapping of sanctions on each other. Meanwhile, China has targeted $110 billion worth of U.S. imports for tariffs.
The White House announced it wouldn't raise the 10 percent tariffs to 25 percent, instead giving the two countries 90 days to talk out their problems.
Caterpillar, Ford and other USA corporate giants have complained that the higher Trump tariffs, if kept in place, would guarantee higher costs and lower profits. Qualcomm scrapped its US$44 billion plan to purchase NXP after failing to acquire approval from China's State Administration of Market Regulation, which oversees anti-monopoly regulations.