TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China was likely to buy more semiconductors from the United States in an attempt to resolve the trade war, but U.S. manufacturers feared the offer was a ploy to obtain more sophisticated technology, reports said Friday.
Trade talks in Beijing went into their second day, with new tariff increases on Chinese imports into the U.S. scheduled for March 2.
The Chinese delegation was reportedly offering to buy more from the U.S. in order to alleviate the trade imbalance, including acquiring extra semiconductors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In 2017, China bought US$6.1 billion worth of semiconductors from the U.S., but under new proposals, the figure would rise fourfold to reach a total of US$200 billion over six years. The ideas were added to previous promises to buy more U.S. soybeans, gas and oil products, reports said.
However, since the Chinese proposals did not include structural reforms, the administration of President Donald Trump was unlikely to accept them as sufficient to end the trade war, observers said.
U.S. businesses even feared that rising exports of semiconductors would help China build up a lead in key sensitive technologies including aerospace and robots, the Central News Agency reported. The Chinese proposals might even lead the processes of chip testing and packaging to move from countries such as Mexico and Malaysia to China itself, thus benefiting local businesses in the communist nation.
In addition, the increased sale of U.S. semiconductors might make the industry more dependent on the Chinese market instead of less, observers said.