China could sign deals for $15 billion US goods
By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese companies could sign contracts this month to buy $15 billion worth of Boeing aircraft and other American goods and services, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi is heading a delegation of more than 200 business executives from 110 state-owned and private sector companies who will be in Los Angeles on Thursday to sign contracts worth more than $4 billion, said Xiaomei Zhou, a spokeswoman for the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles.
Wu’s buying mission comes just a few weeks before Chinese President Hu Jintao meets with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House. Concerns about Chinese barriers to U.S. exports, rampant piracy and Beijing’s currency policies are expected to be high on the agenda for the April 20 meeting, along with foreign policy matters.
A deal with Boeing could be signed before Hu’s White House visit. "If you include the contract for Boeing, the total would be about $15 billion," Xiaomei said.
Hu is scheduled to visit Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington, on April 19, a day after stopping at the Microsoft headquarters.
A Boeing spokeswoman had no comment on any possible deal, saying the company leaves it to its customers to announce purchases.
The United States exported $3.84 billion worth of civilian aircraft to China last year.
The biggest of the 27 deals to be signed on Thursday is for $1 billion with Flextronics, which helps automotive, industrial, medical and technology companies design and build electronics products, according to a Chinese consulate statement.