China offers deal to purchase $70B in US goods, wants Trump to drop tariffs

Beijing offered to buy tens of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. goods if the U.S. abandons plans to hit Chinese imports with hefty tariffs, but the offer may be dead-on-arrival as the Trump administration signals it plans to move ahead with the levies later this month.

A government source familiar with the trade discussions told FOX Business on Tuesday that Beijing said it would purchase almost $70 billion worth of U.S. goods, including agricultural products like soybeans and corn, as well as energy products like coal, natural gas and oil. The deal, however, is conditional on the Trump administration’s commitment to abandon its plans to slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Those terms could make the offer a dud in Washington, considering the Trump administration has signaled it plans to move forward with the tariffs later this month.

One major point of contention between the two countries has been the more than $370 billion trade deficit the U.S. has with China. President Donald Trump wanted Beijing to reduce that amount by $200 billion by 2020. China is looking to up its import of U.S. goods as a way to offset that trade imbalance.

The U.S. has also pushed for broader economic reform, particularly where intellectual property law is concerned.

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.