US Secretary of Commerce (pictured during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last year) is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Saturday to continue trade negotiations. Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter

After US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he was slapping US$60 billion in tariffs on China, a top administration official is giving China some advice on how to respond.

The “simplest” solution, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg, is to buy more liquefied natural gas from the US.

“China needs to import very, very large amounts of LNG and from their point it would be very logical to import more of it from us, if for no reason other than to diversify their sources of supply,” Ross said. “It would also have the side effect of reducing the deficit.”

China is currently the third-largest importer of America’s LNG, behind Mexico and South Korea. Cheniere Energy became the first US gas exporter to sign on to a long-term deal with a Chinese firm in February, agreeing to supply China National Petroleum Corporation with 1.2 million metric tons a year through 2043.

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