China says it does not want US trade frictions to escalate

Irving Hamilton
June 9, 2018

In the latest round of trade talks between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, China offered to purchase almost $70 billion of U.S. farm, manufacturing and energy products if the Trump administration abandons threatened tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said that talks on Sunday between US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing included in-depth discussions about agriculture and energy trade, but he did not confirm that China had made a $70 billion offer. The Commerce Department on Wednesday told AFP no definitive agreement had been reached and no further information was available.

"China and the U.S. carried out in-depth and concrete discussions in some specific areas of trade cooperation, especially agricultural products and energy", said Gao Feng, the ministry's spokesman, when asked about the US$70 billion figure.

China's political sensitive trade surplus with the United States widened in May from a year earlier, while its total global surplus shrank as imports accelerated.

"China is willing to expand imports from the USA under the precondition of both sides walking towards each other", Gao said. A US$70 billion package of purchases would amount to a 53.8% increase.

The best airlines in the world in 2018, ranked
According to AirHelp Score, US airlines failed to achieve high scores primarily due to overbooking and cancellations. Only six USA airports ranked in the top half of the total 142 airports.

China's trade imbalance with the U.S. has continued to grow since the beginning of the year, with the deficit reaching $105 billion between January and May, roughly $11.6 billion more than in the first five months of 2017.

The proposed additional 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, if they materialize after June 15 as scheduled, would be Trump's first actual trade actions specifically targeted at the world's biggest trading nation.

BEIJING-China's trade surplus narrowed in May on strong imports, through the gap with the USA widened-in part, some economists said, because of concerns that trade tensions could worsen in the months ahead.

For goods alone, the United States trade deficit with China hit a record US$375 billion past year, and the White House has demanded that China cut the imbalance by US$200 billion. China's Commerce Ministry said afterwards that any deal would be non-binding force if Washington imposed tariffs on Chinese imports.

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