UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – China and the United States have announced that Beijing has agreed to a substantial increase in its purchases of US goods and services, but the deal did not mention the $ 200 billion target the White House had earlier spoken of.
Beijing and Washington agreed to continue negotiations on measures by which China would bring in imports of energy and agricultural goods from the United States to reduce the $ 335 billion trade and goods deficit between the two countries.
The joint communique issued on Saturday at the end of intensive trade talks in Washington did not indicate whether the two countries would delay or abandon their threats to impose billions of dollars in commodity tariffs on each country, threats that raised fears of a wider trade war and caused turbulence in financial markets.
“There is consensus to take effective measures to significantly reduce the US deficit in commodity trade with China,” the joint statement issued by the United States and China said.
“China will greatly increase its purchases of goods and services from the United States to meet the growing consumer needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development,” the statement said.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese goods worth up to $ 150 billion to counter what his administration calls Beijing’s abuse of US intellectual property rights through joint project requirements and other policies that impose technology transfer.
Beijing denies any coercive policies and has threatened retaliatory measures, including the charging of some of the largest imports from the United States such as planes, soybeans and cars.
A report by the official Xinhua news agency said the statement issued by the two governments was “a pledge not to launch a trade war between the two countries.”
While the statement said the two sides would discuss a high level and seek to resolve economic and trade concerns, no fees were mentioned.
The statement said there was a consensus between Washington and Beijing on the need to create “favorable conditions for increased trade” in manufactured goods and services. This may be a reference to China’s previous commitments to open more economic sectors to service activities.
In a commentary published by Xinhua on Sunday, the agency described the statement as “a good example of win-win solutions” and said it would help the United States reduce its trade deficit by increasing China’s exports while allowing China to diversify and improve imports.
She also noted that China has always resisted any “unreasonable demands” by the United States and has never made any concessions or accepted restrictive conditions.
The solution to the trade dispute will be complex, difficult and time-consuming, the agency said in its commentary.
The two countries said the United States would send a delegation to China to elaborate the details of the increase in exports of energy and agricultural commodities, without specifying a time frame.
Trump made reducing the trade deficit between the United States and China a key pledge in his campaign.
During an initial round of talks this month in Beijing, Washington asked China to reduce its trade surplus by 200 billion dollars, a figure most economists said required a major change in the structure of trade between the two countries.