China to offer U.S. trade-deficit package
The $200-billion reduction deal includes purchases of goods and other measures
China has offered U.S. President Donald Trump a package of proposed purchases of U.S. goods and other measures aimed at reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China by some US$200-billion a year, U.S. officials familiar with the offer said.
The offer was made during U.S.China trade talks in Washington aimed at resolving tariff threats and other trade irritants between the world’s two largest economies, but it was not immediately clear how the total value was determined.
One of the sources said that U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co. would be a major beneficiary of the Chinese offer. Boeing is the largest U.S. exporter and already sells about a quarter of its commercial aircraft to Chinese customers.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump said China had become “very spoiled” on trade with the United States and cast doubt on the success of his efforts to rebalance the relationship with Beijing.
Mr. Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said China had “ripped off” the United States for too long and that he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that “we just can’t do that anymore.”
But he praised the efforts of U.S. and Chinese officials to try to rebalance the relationship through trade talks.
“Will that be successful? I tend to doubt it. The reason I doubt it is because China has become very spoiled” with getting its way on trade with the United States, he said.
A second round of talks between senior Trump administration officials and their Chinese counterparts started at the U.S. Treasury on Thursday morning, focused on cutting China’s U.S. trade surplus and improving intellectual property protections.
Mr. Trump has threatened to impose up to US$150-billion in punitive tariffs to combat what he says is Beijing’s misappropriation of U.S. technology through joint venture requirements and other policies. Beijing has threatened equal retaliation, including tariffs on some of its largest U.S. imports, including aircraft, soybeans and autos.
At trade talks in Beijing two weeks ago, both sides presented lengthy lists of demands, agreeing only to keep talking.
The Trump administration sought a US$200-billion reduction in China’s US$375-billion U.S. goods trade surplus, an end to joint venture requirements that it says coerce technology transfers from American companies and an end to subsidies for advanced technology industries under the “Made in China” 2025 program.
China demanded that Mr. Trump relax crushing restrictions imposed on Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp., and end restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States and sales of high-technology goods to China.
Mr. Trump on Sunday wrote on Twitter he would help put ZTE back in business after a Commerce Department ban cut off its supply of U.S. components, forcing it to suspend operations. Mr. Trump told reporters on Thursday that Mr. Xi had asked him to look into the ZTE situation and he agreed to do so, adding that ZTE buys a lot of parts from U.S. companies. “That’s a lot of business.
“Anything we do with ZTE, it’s just a small component of the overall deal. I can only tell you this: We’re going to come out fine with China. Hopefully, China will be happy, I think we’ll be happy,” Mr. Trump said.
Earlier, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business Network that the discussion over ZTE was about reexamining the U.S. penalties, not waiving the enforcement action altogether.