U.S. and Chinese companies have signed business deals the two sides say are valued at $9 billion during a visit by President Donald Trump, in a tradition aimed at blunting criticism of Beijing's trade practices.

No details of the 19 agreements signed Wednesday at a ceremony attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross were immediately released. Such contract signings are a fixture of visits by foreign leaders to Beijing and often involve agreements the Chinese side saved for the event to showcase the country's importance as a market.

Trump has made narrowing the multibillion-dollar U.S. trade deficit with China a priority of his administration. He is due to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.