Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

China To End Anti-Dumping Probe Into US Sorghum Amid Trade Talks

China To End Anti-Dumping Probe Into US Sorghum Amid Trade Talks

China may buy up to United States dollars 200 billion worth of American goods under intense pressure from the Trump administration to reduce its massive trade deficit with the U.S., a media report said today, amid a round of high-level trade talks between the world's two largest economies.

The US is the world's leading producer of sorghum, and is the largest supplier of the grain to China.

Beijing's announcement that it was ending its investigation, which effectively halted a trade worth roughly $1.1 billion past year, came hours after USA officials familiar with the matter said China was offering a package to slash the US trade deficit by up to $200 billion.

In return, China is asking the United States to set aside tariffs and investment restrictions it has threatened against Chinese companies, the report said.

"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. -China trade talks in Washington focused on resolving tariff threats between the two countries.

Beijing has since responded with retaliatory tariffs of its own against the U.S. on a range of goods, including pork and wine.

A delegation headed by China's Vice-Premier Liu He is now in the U.S. for trade talks and dropping the sorghum probe might be an olive branch for the negotiations.

"The United States officials conveyed the President's clear goal for a fair trading relationship with China", the White House said.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

China imported $956 million of sorghum from the United States previous year, according to the Commerce Ministry.

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Sorghum is a grain used primarily to feed livestock, but it is also used to create ethanol, or drinking alcohol.

The announcement on sorghum imports came from the Commerce Ministry in Beijing on Friday morning, and was not explicitly linked to the trade talks.

Earlier this year, the United States announced it would impose import taxes on aluminium - including but not exclusively those from China.

"Now they are showing goodwill by halting its anti-dumping investigation into sorghum imports, but it is a cheap way of showing goodwill as the US doesn't have much sorghum left to export".

Some China trade watchers expressed scepticism that a $200 billion reduction in the trade gap could be achieved quickly and said the offer may include repackaged commitments previously announced by China. "They want it to be a numbers issue", Wolf said. But Trump tweeted Wednesday that "nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal".

The U.S. officials did not have details on China's demands in exchange for the concessions.

China is stepping up its efforts to avoid a trade war with the United States.

Liu called on US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday.

It's also unclear what the Chinese government is asking for in return. I can only tell you this: We're going to come out fine with China.

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