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China proposes buying $200 billion of American goods, US officials say – CNN Money

China proposes buying $200B of American goods, US officials say

Guggenheim investment chief: Nobody wins a trade war

China is stepping up its efforts to avoid a trade war with the United States.

Beijing has proposed boosting Chinese purchases of American goods by around $200 billion in an effort to reduce the massive trade imbalance between the two countries, US officials said Thursday.

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It’s still just a proposal and no agreements have been reached yet in the trade talks between the two sides, the officials added.

The negotiations are aimed at finding a way out of the bitter trade clash between the world’s top two economies. Washington and Beijing have threatened in recent months to slap tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s products.

After the trade talks Thursday in Washington between top US officials and a Chinese delegation, the White House said that “the two sides agreed to continue the discussions on Friday.”

Thursday’s meetings included one in the Oval Office between President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Related: Peter Navarro and Steven Mnuchin feuded at Beijing trade talks

The US demands presented to the Chinese government during the first round of talks, which took place in Beijing earlier this month, included cutting the US trade deficit with China by $200 billion by the end of 2020.

It wasn’t immediately clear how China would carry out such a dramatic increase in imports from the United States. It bought $130 billion of American goods last year, according to US government figures.

Experts have said previously that China would likely struggle to significantly ramp up imports of American-made goods.

The Chinese proposal was first reported by Reuters and The New York Times.

In another move that appeared designed to defuse tensions, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said Friday it was dropping its investigations into US sorghum exports. Beijing had previously accused American farmers of dumping sorghum on its markets and announced last month it would start putting a huge import charge on the crop.

The ministry said Friday that the measures against US sorghum, which is typically used to feed animals, “would affect the cost of living of consumers and are not in line with the public interest.”

— Jethro Mullen and Serenitie Wang contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (Washington) First published May 17, 2018: 11:08 PM ET



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