China agrees to import more goods and services from US

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The US and China have been threatening tariffs on one another

China has agreed to buy more US goods and services, reducing the trade imbalance between the two countries and dampening fears of a looming trade war.

Washington says the move will “substantially reduce” its $335bn annual trade deficit with Beijing.

But it stopped short of saying exactly how big the reduction would be.

“Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in US agriculture and energy exports,” a US-China statement said following days of talks in Washington.

“This will help support growth and employment in the United States.”

The countries also agreed to keep negotiating on trade to resolve their concerns “in a proactive manner”.

Earlier, the White House had said it was aiming for a $200bn reduction, but this figure was not mentioned in the statement.

The two sides also did not say whether they would delay or drop their tariff threats on billions of dollars worth of each others’ goods.

Both countries have imposed tariffs on each others’ imports, though they are yet to be implemented.

  • 18.2% of all China’s exports go to the United States

  • $129bn worth of China-made electrical machinery bought by US

  • 59.2% growth in Chinese services imported by US between 2006 & 2016

  • $347bn US goods trade deficit with China

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US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150bn on Chinese goods.

He says the objective is to persuade China to end what he calls the theft of American intellectual property – such as technology and copyright.

The US has already imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. Countries accounting for the bulk of those imports have been exempted, but China is not among them.

Beijing has threatened equal retaliation, including tariffs on a number of US imports – among them aircraft, soybeans, cars, pork, wine, fruit and nuts.

An article published by Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Sunday declared the latest agreement as a “good example of win-win”, adding it would help the US reduce its trade deficit and allow China to raise the quality of its imports.

The trade statement from the two countries concluded: “Both sides agreed to encourage two-way investment and to strive to create a fair, level playing field for competition.”

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