American and Chinese firms signed Monday  deals worth 13.6 billion dollars ahead of a high level meeting that could formally endorse talks for a bilateral investment treaty, officials said. Beijing said the agreements inked in Washington and St Louis, Missouri were part of plans by Chinese companies to increase imports from the trade deficit-ridden United States. Thirty-five deals worth 8.3 billion dollars were signed by high-tech, manufacturing and telecommunication companies at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, the Chinese government said in a statement.