By Agence France-Presse
China offered to buy nearly $70 billion in American farm, manufacturing and energy products to persuade Washington to drop threatened tariffs, according to a news report on Tuesday.
Top Chinese economic adviser Liu He presented the offer to the American team during the latest round of talks in Beijing last weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing knowledgeable sources.
Under the plan, China would buy a basket of US goods, including soybeans, natural gas, crude oil, and coal.
But the talks did not appear to yield a breakthrough in the trade impasse between Washington and Beijing.
Representatives of the US Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, which sent officials to participate in the weekend talks, told AFP on it had no comment on the report.
In 2017, US exports to China were valued at $130.4 billion, meaning China’s offer would amount to a 53.8 percent increase.
Counting only goods and excluding services, as US President Donald Trump frequently does, the US trade deficit rose to a record $375 billion last year. The White House has demanded a $200 billion reduction.
“If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will be void,” China’s official news agency Xinhua said Sunday.
According to The Journal report, Liu personally delivered this warning to Ross. This followed the White House’s announcement last week that Washington would press ahead with plans to impose the tariffs, which are tied to China’s tech sector.
The final list of products subject to the 25 percent tariffs is due to be published on June 15.
Washington also plans to announce new restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States along with additional export controls by the end of the month. Those new rules would take effect shortly afterward.