China abruptly terminated an anti-dumping probe into imported US sorghum on Friday, a signal that Beijing is trying to lower tensions with Washington as the latter seeks a more balanced trade relationship.
China is stepping up its efforts to avoid a trade war with the United States.
The Ministry of Commerce said it was terminating (link in Chinese) the probe after receiving comments from the Chinese livestock industry saying the anti-dumping measures would be likely to push up costs, which would then be passed on to the public.
A high-level Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He is now in Washington for trade negotiations with the US.
The top-line number in the Chinese offer would largely match a request presented to Chinese officials by Trump administration officials in Beijing two weeks ago.
"Chinese negotiators are preparing to offer the administration a deal to buy up to Dollars 200 billion worth of American goods, which would allow Trump to claim victory in his campaign to reduce the trade deficit with China and rebalance America's trade relationship with its biggest economic rival, according to people briefed on the deliberations", The New York Times reported.
"That could theoretically reduce its trade surplus with the United States - which hit Dollars 372.5 billion previous year - by up to Dollars 200 billion, though the real number would most likely be lower", it said. It's also not certain the U.S. economy could easily step in to supply the kind of machinery China needs.
In Beijing, the commerce ministry said Thursday that China hoped the two sides could resolve the trade frictions during the latest talks.
The United States' two biggest exports to China were aircraft at $16 billion past year, and soybeans, at $12 billion.
"China wants it to just be about the trade deficit".
Agreeing to a deal focused primarily on reducing the trade deficit could also weaken Trump's original tariff goal of pressuring China to end policies that his administration says are aimed at misappropriating USA technology - a bigger structural change for China's state-driven economic model. "They want it to be a numbers issue", Wolf said.
It's also unclear what the Chinese government is asking for in return.
Trump said he agreed to Xi's request to look into the matter and that ZTE bought a lot of components from US companies. "Hopefully, China will be happy, I think we'll be happy", Trump said.
China and the USA have imposed - or threatened to impose - tariffs on various goods, in what observers warn could escalate into a larger trade war. Beijing has threatened equal retaliation, including tariffs on some of its largest US imports, including aircraft, soybeans and autos.