Chinese officials are offering to increase purchases of US agricultural products as they seek an interim agreement between Beijing and Washington that will stave off a new round of tariff hikes on October 15, said the Financial Times.
China’s lead trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, is scheduled to begin two days of talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday, followed by a meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday if the discussions go well.
“Liu He is coming with real offers, it’s not an empty visit,” said FT sources. “The Chinese are ready to de-escalate.”
Both sides hope to avoid another round of tariff hikes and counter-hikes scheduled to take effect on October 15. Despite US sanctions announced this week against Chinese companies and officials allegedly involved in human rights abuses, Liu’s team is offering to boost annual purchases of soybeans to 30 million tons compared with 20 million at present. The extra purchases would be equivalent to about $3.25 billion of orders at current rates.