STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

China's Xi Jinping says tariffs on car imports will be cut this year

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said his government would "significantly lower" tariffs on vehicle imports th...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 11:57 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 11:57 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said his government would "significantly lower" tariffs on vehicle imports this year as part of efforts to further open its giant economy to the world.

The pledge addresses one of the gripes of US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose new tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods in a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. Experts cautioned, though, that Xi's comments may not do much to resolve the conflict, which has rocked markets in recent weeks.

During an eagerly awaited speech at a development conference on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan, Xi billed the planned cut in vehicle tariffs and a series of other measures as "a new phase of opening up." But many of the steps he outlined are ones Beijing has already proposed in some form.

For example, the Chinese government had promised in November to "gradually and properly" reduce tariffs on imported vehicles, though it didn't give a specific time frame for doing so.

Related: US-China trade battle: Catch up here

"President Xi's remarks do not represent a dramatic departure from existing Chinese policy, but rather a reiteration of the same themes Xi has promoted throughout his tenure atop China's policy making system," said Chaoping Zhu, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

Trump complained as recently as Monday about China's 25% tariff on foreign cars, pointing out that it's far higher than the 2.5% tariff the United States charges for imported cars. "Does that sound like free or fair trade," Trump tweeted. "No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE - going on for years!"

Related: How did China end up posing as the defender of global trade?

Stock markets, which have plunged repeatedly in recent weeks over fears of a potential US-China trade war, responded positively to Xi's comments. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Dow futures in the United States were up more than 1% after the speech.

But it's unclear how much, if at all, Xi's pledges Tuesday will help defuse the trade tensions between the two sides. China has already proposed new tariffs on $50 billion of US goods and threatened to retaliate further.

"This speech did not represent a major shift in Chinese policy and it is likely the US-China trade dispute will require more negotiation," said JP Morgan's Zhu.

But other analysts said Xi's remarks could help lay the groundwork for a compromise.

"Clearly, he prefers a cool-headed approach toward the dispute," said Larry Hu, a China-focused economist at investment bank Macquarie Capital. Hu predicted that the current US-China clash over trade would eventually end with some kind of concessions from Beijing.

Related: How a US-China trade war could hurt (and help) others

Xi didn't mention Trump or the United States by name in his speech. But he stressed the need for tackling problems through dialogue rather than confrontation, warning against adopting a "Cold War mentality." He also complained about limits other governments have put on trade with China.

"We hope developed countries will stop imposing restrictions on normal and reasonable trade of hi-tech products and relax export controls on such trade with China," he said.

Related: Trump promises to 'make it up' to farmers hit by China tariffs

The other measures he promised China would take include improving access to its financial sector and easing restrictions as soon as possible on foreign ownership of companies operating in China's auto, aerospace and shipbuilding industries.

He also pledged to strengthen the protection of intellectual property inside China, which has been a focal point of criticism from the Trump administration, and increase China's imports from other countries by lowering some tariffs.

"China does not seek a trade surplus," he said.

Trump has often slammed China's huge surplus in the trade of goods with the United States, which reached $375 billion last year, according to US data.

Chinese state media disputed the idea that the planned changes outlined by Xi were a response to the current trade dispute with the United States.

"These measures are based on our consistent policy and stance, our own development and our own pace," read a commentary published online by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party. It said that "linking China's strategic choice to the current China-US trade frictions" was a "baseless interpretation."

-- Matt Rivers, Tim Schwarz and Steven Jiang contributed to this report.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Florence
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Fayetteville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Scottsboro
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 78°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 25664

Reported Deaths: 408
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby5669127
Davidson563869
Rutherford139829
Trousdale13944
Hamilton99219
Sumner95146
Lake8350
Bledsoe6131
Williamson59511
Robertson5425
Putnam5256
Tipton4673
Wilson4598
Knox4455
Out of TN4264
Bedford3024
Montgomery2873
Rhea2170
Hardeman2040
Bradley1742
Madison1732
Macon1713
Loudon1650
Unassigned1610
McMinn14614
Fayette1442
Cheatham1400
Dickson1210
Cumberland1202
Maury1081
Sevier1002
Blount933
Coffee810
Washington760
Monroe743
Wayne640
Gibson631
Sullivan602
Lauderdale601
Dyer590
Hickman590
Franklin541
Greene522
Unicoi490
Obion481
Hamblen442
Marion441
Anderson422
DeKalb390
Smith361
Lawrence350
Marshall341
White340
Hawkins342
Haywood342
Overton330
Grundy321
Cannon320
Henry320
Lincoln300
Jefferson290
Carroll281
Meigs270
Warren270
Weakley260
Perry240
Hardin222
Cocke210
Sequatchie200
Polk190
Carter191
Jackson190
Johnson190
Campbell181
Morgan180
Roane170
Humphreys161
Crockett163
Grainger150
Henderson150
McNairy150
Giles140
Stewart140
Scott130
Chester120
Fentress120
Claiborne120
Houston80
Clay80
Benton71
Decatur50
Moore50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events