President Hu Jintao's April 18 to 22 visit to the United States is expected to result in deals worth billions of dollars for American companies, state media reported. Representatives of 111 mainland companies will begin negotiations with authorities, commerce associations and companies in 13 US states ahead of the visit on deals said to involve agricultural products, software, passenger aircraft, cars, automotive spare parts and electrical products. Confirmed big-ticket purchases include 80 Boeing passenger aircraft, while reports suggest the ban on US beef imports may be lifted and imports of American soya beans boosted. Hu is scheduled to have dinner with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates amid reports Beijing could promise to purchase more Microsoft Windows operating systems and other US-made software. The deals will ease some of the pressure on Beijing over the ballooning trade surplus with the US, which exceeded US$200 billion last year, though some analysts say the one-off purchases will provide only temporary relief.