MOSCOW (Sputnik) – China has offered the United States’ high-ranked trade officials to buy a modest amount of US agricultural products during a phone call earlier this week in a peace gesture ahead of trade talks between the two nations, media reported on Saturday.
The Politico news outlet reported, citing two people with knowledge about the call, that the offer would be conditioned on the United States weakening its sanctions on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and putting off the introduction of the new round of trade tariffs, planned for October 1.
According to the reports, Washington was also mulling putting off the duties which are planned to be introduced on December 15, depending on how the trade negotiations between the two states go.
One of the people, cited by Politico, said that executives and political donors of major US companies, including the Walmart retail network, had addressed US President Donald Trump two weeks ago in a bid to persuade the president to abandon the plans to impose additional tariffs in December because it would significantly harm consumers.
While the October round of sanctions is planned to target around $250 billion worth of goods in, the December duties will include laptops, smartphones and remaining imports.
Trump, whose campaign pledge was to fix the US-China trade imbalance, has called on the Asian country to increase its exports of US agricultural goods amid the talks on a new trade agreement.
Notably, China’s Vice Premier Liu He early on Thursday held a telephone conversation with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during which they agreed to hold the next round of trade talks in Washington in early October, CCTV has reported.
The trade row between the world’s two largest economies erupted in June 2018 when the United States imposed the first round of its additional trade duties on China prompting Beijing to respond in kind. Since then, the sides have exchanged several rounds of duties and are engaged in the talks to settle their disagreements.