05/18/2018, 09.59
CHINA-US
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Beijing unlocks sorghum imports and offers a 200 billion cut in trade with the US

Tensions lighten in tariff war. The visit of Liu He, economic advisor to Xi Jinping, in Washington, decisive.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In a surprise move, China has ended an anti-dumping probe on the US sorghum, which could have blocked its imports. Almost at the same time, last night, China offered to cut the surplus of its trade with the United States by 200 billion dollars. The United States suffers a trade deficit of 375 billion dollars (in 2017).

Beijing had threatened duties on sorghum last February as a reprisal for duties that Washington wants to put on many Chinese products, also accused of dumping (state aid to lighten prices). Today the Beijing Ministry of Commerce declared that the sanctions on grains would be to the detriment of Chinese farmers. Sorghum is used primarily as animal feed.

These signals of reduced tension between China and the US seem to cancel out the mutual threat of a tariff war.

The US has long called for a reduction in trade surplus with China, accusing Beijing of supporting its exports and stealing or forcing technology transfers. This is why President Donald Trump has proposed a series of duties for 50 billion dollars on Chinese products. China had responded with duties on American products as a countermeasure.

Beijing’s conciliatory moves come in the wake of a recent visit by Vice-President Liu He to Washington (see photo). Liu is the highest economic advisor to President Xi Jinping. The 200 billion surplus reduction meets Trump’s request, who wanted a reduction of at least 250 billion dollars. The issue of copyright defence and the mandatory transfer of technologies to US industries that want to operate in China in joint-ventures remains open.

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