US and China aim for limited deal on trade and agriculture in talks this week

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U.S. and Chinese negotiators are reportedly pursuing a limited trade during talks this week in Washington, D.C. As part of the deal, China is offering to increase purchases of U.S. farm products. The move is being done to head off a scheduled increase on U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Chinese officials do not a see a comprehensive deal as possible but are offering a limited one in exchange for assurances that the Trump administration will not subject their exports to additional tariffs, according to a Bloomberg report citing an an anonymous official with direct knowledge of the talks. China would in exchange agree to boost purchases of U.S. beef, pork, and lamb, according to a Financial Times report. Purchases of soybeans would rise to 30 million tons annually, an increase of 50%.

The Trump administration is scheduled to increase tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30%, up from 25%, starting on Oct. 15.

The reports come on the eve of renewed trade negotiations between the countries. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington, D.C., Thursday to talk with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. A meeting between Liu and President Trump is possible for Friday.

Chins has previously signaled that it was scaling back ambitions for trade talks with the United States, no longer demanding that the Trump administration make the status of Chinese telecom company Huawei, which the U.S. blacklisted, part of the talks.

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