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China offers to buy $70 billion of US farm and energy products

Under the plan, china would buy a basket of US goods, including soy beans, natural gas, crude oil and coal

Washington: China has put a new offer on the table in trade negotiations with the United States. It is learnt that Beijing has offered to buy nearly 70 billion dollars’ worth of American goods. In exchange, it wants Washington to drop plans for steep tariffs on Chinese imports.

The offer reportedly came as US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met over the weekend with China’s Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing.

It is understood that China’s proposal applied to farm and energy products. Beijing argues that it is significant progress toward the US goal of slashing the trade deficit with China by 200 billion dollars.

Beijing says the proposal would be shelved if Washington sticks with its plan to impose tariffs on 50 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods.

Under the plan, china would buy a basket of US goods, including soy beans, natural gas, crude oil and coal. But the talks did not appear to yield a breakthrough in the trade impasse between Washington and Beijing.

In 2017, US exports to China were valued at $130.4 billion, meaning China’s offer would amount to a 53.8% 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.

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% tariffs is due to be published on 15 June.

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 afterwards.

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