US seeks China trade moves

WASHINGTON/BEIJING – Top Trump administration officials are asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more US-made semiconductors in negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese goods and a potential trade war.

A person familiar with the discussions said these were among the asks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they pursue talks with Beijing.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the demands from US officials, saying they came in a letter sent to Beijing last week.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro confirmed that President Donald Trump asked Mr Mnuchin and Lighthizer to try to resolve trade differences with China.

“We’re hopeful there that China will work with us to basically address some of these practices,” Mr Navarro told CNBC television.

US stocks surged on Monday on the news that the two sides were talking, after a massive rout last week when Mr Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports over alleged misappropriation of US intellectual property. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI posted its third biggest point gain ever, rising 669.4 points, or 2.8 per cent, to close at 24,202.6 while the broader S&P 500 .SPX rose 2.7 per cent after a nearly 6 per cent drop last week.