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China reportedly offers to ramp up its US imports

Reuters logo Reuters 1/18/2019 Rishika Chatterjee

China has offered to go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the United States in order to reconfigure the relation between the two countries, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

By raising annual goods imports from the U.S. by a combined value of more than $1 trillion, China would seek to reduce its trade surplus, which last year stood at $323 billion, to zero by 2024, one of the people told Bloomberg.

Halfway through a 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war agreed to on Dec. 1 when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Argentina, there have been few details provided of any progress made.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan. 30.

But Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has resisted the idea, and the proposal had not yet been introduced to President Donald Trump, according to the Journal.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan. 30 and 31 for the latest round of trade talks aimed at resolving a bitter trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. The Trump administration is scheduled to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent on March 2 from 10 percent.

Wall Street's main indexes were on track for their fourth week of gains on Friday, led by technology and industrial stocks, amid hopes that a bitter trade war between the United States and China would finally come to an end. 

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