U.S. and China trade talks get off to rocky start
China has offered President Donald Trump a US$200 billion reduction in its annual trade surplus with the U.S. by increasing imports of American products and other steps, said a Trump administration official.
China made the offer during talks in Washington this week as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visited to try to resolve a trade dispute, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Liu met with Trump Thursday afternoon at the White House. The official didn’t describe the U.S. response.
Trump expressed doubt ahead of his meeting with Liu that China and the U.S. would come to an agreement to avoid a damaging trade war.
“Will that be successful? I tend to doubt it,” Trump said during a press briefing on Thursday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “The reason I doubt it is because China’s become very spoiled.”
Reuters reported the US$200 billion trade deficit reduction offer earlier.
The U.S. and China were expected to exchange new trade proposals during the Washington talks, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier Thursday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the talks with Liu, along with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, according to the White House. Mnuchin led a delegation to Beijing earlier this month for negotiations, but they ended in discord.