WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China has agreed to significantly increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services, the two countries said on Saturday, but made no mention of a $200 billion target the White House had touted earlier.
Beijing and Washington agreed they would keep talking about measures under which China would import more energy and agricultural commodities from the United States to close the $335 billion annual U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China.
A joint statement issued at the conclusion of intensive trade talks in Washington did not indicate whether the two countries would delay or drop their tariff threats on billions of dollars worth of each country’s goods, which has sparked fears of a wider trade war and roiled financial markets.
“There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States’ trade deficit in goods with China,” the joint statement said.
“To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion on Chinese goods to combat what his administration says is Beijing’s misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property through joint venture requirements and other policies that force technology transfers.
Beijing denies such coercion and has threatened equal retaliation, including tariffs on some of its largest U.S. imports - among them aircraft, soybeans and autos.
A report by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency described the statement from the two governments as “vowing not to launch a trade war against each other.”
While the statement said the two sides would engage at high levels and “seek to resolve their economic and trade concerns in a proactive