VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Workers wait to unload shipping containers at Qingdao Port on November 8, 2018 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China.
“The danger of our two countries being on a collision course is something that both countries should try to avoid,” Lew said.
“I think it is important at a time when we are in a late stage of recovery, with a lot of signs weakening growth globally, to eliminate uncertainty that can be addressed. So, that puts a premium on doing it sooner rather than later.”
“It is not good for markets to be so volatile, good news drives the markets up (and) bad news drives the markets down. More importantly, it is not good for the decisions that are made on investment and hiring if you have this huge uncertainty,” he added.
The U.S. has accused China of stealing intellectual property from American companies, forcing them to transfer technology to China.
The White House is pressuring Beijing to make changes to its economic policies, saying they unfairly favour domestic companies through subsidies and other support.
Meanwhile, China, which is seen by many as unlikely to embrace broader structural changes, claims the U.S. has launched the largest trade war in economic history.