Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin won't dismiss ending trade with China should President Trump decide to penalize any country that insists on doing trade with North Korea while it continues to develop its nuclear and missiles program.
Pyongyang recently conducted a sixth nuclear test, resulting in a new round of sanctions from the United Nations — though they were watered down in order to avoid a veto from China and Russia.
Mnuchin, speaking to Fox News' Bret Baier in an interview that aired Wednesday, said he has kept in touch with Trump about North Korea and reiterated that he has an executive order "that's ready" if Trump wants to use it.
"We can stop trade with any country that does business with North Korea," he said of the plan. He couched that threat on the Trump administration's effort to "be careful in using these tools."
"But the president is committed, we will use economic sanctions to bring North Korea to the table," he said.
Trump has not yet commenting on the executive order that Mnuchin says he's written up, but did suggest that he wasn't so impressed with the U.N. sanctions, saying they were "just another very small step, not a big deal."
Asked if the U.S. would be willing to go as far as to cut off trade with China, North Korea's largest trading partner.
"Stopping trade with anybody," Mnuchain replied. "Nobody would be off the table. And, again, we're reviewing this. We're pleased with the sanctions that the U.N. did. But they didn't do enough. And at Treasury, we will continue to work with the president on doing more."
Baier pointed out that trade between China and North Korea "was up nearly 40 percent in the first quarter, even though China was saying they were clamping down on North Korea."
Mnuchin replied that the Trump administration is "well aware."
"I can assure you we will be on top of this," he added.