Officials from the Trump administration have asked China to submit a written plan detailing how it will cut the US’s bilateral trade deficit by $100 billion, according to the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the discussions between the two powers.
The method favored by the US would be for China to ramp up its imports of American cars, aircraft, soybeans and natural gas, rather than cutting China’s exports to the US, the FT says. This would allow the US to avoid placing tariffs on Chinese imports, and therefore raising prices for consumers.
The US demands for a Chinese deficit reduction plan were made during Chinese envoy Liu He’s recent visit to Washington, three people briefed on the meeting told the FT.
A reduction of $100 billion would make a significant dent in the US’s bilateral trade deficit with China, which hit $375 billion last year. Beijing has already reportedly offered to liberalize its financial services market and drop some limits on foreign shareholdings.