China could be attempting to mend fences with the United States despite its opposition to new U.S. tariffs against $60 billion of Chinese goods.
The Chinese government, in an effort to avoid a trade war that could incur losses for both sides, may be in talks to buy U.S. semiconductors, the Financial Times reported Monday.
China currently purchases the semiconductors from South Korea and Taiwan, but the move could still bear consequences for the United States because South Korea and Taiwan are traditional U.S. allies, according to the FT.
Other measures Beijing is exploring include reducing Chinese tariffs on imported cars.
The points were discussed between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, after a heated exchange between the two officials by phone, according to Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
During the call, Liu told Mnuchin U.S. tariffs violated global trading regulations, and added China was ready to defend its interests.
The U.S. Treasury confirmed the call but said the two sides discussed “mutually agreeable” ways to cut back the U.S. trade deficit with China.
U.S. President Donald Trump hit China last week with $60 billion in U.S. tariffs, and China retaliated with tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods.
Liu also raised the possibility China could allow foreign majority control of securities firms as early as May, according to the FT.
The implementation of tariffs is being planned, but Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday that the Trump administration is seeking an agreement with China.
“We are going to proceed with our tariffs. We are working on that. We’re also working on investment restrictions, but we’re simultaneously having negotiations with the Chinese to see if we can reach an agreement,” Mnuchin said.