President Xi Responds to Trade Dispute With Promising to Cut Auto Import Tariff

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 7:30 AM
President Xi Responds to Trade Dispute With Promising to Cut Auto Import Tariff

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to reduce China’s auto import tariffs amid trade tensions with Washington.

While the leader did not mention President Trump by name, he said he’d move to further open China’s markets and ease restrictions on foreign ownership in its auto industry.

“We will take the initiative to expand imports,” Xi said during a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia. "China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account.”

President Xi’s vow to “significantly lower” tariffs on auto imports comes after the U.S. and China have continued to make economic threats. 

After the U.S. unveiled a list of $50 billion in potential tariffs on Chinese products, Beijing responded with plans to implement billions in penalties on U.S. soybeans, cars and other items.

Trump then ratcheted up his rhetoric last week, saying his administration would consider an additional $100 billion in penalties on Chinese products. (The Hill)

While Beijing said it would “counterattack with great strength” if the U.S. follows through on its most recent threat, President Xi struck a conciliatory tone at the forum, saying, "China's door of opening up will not be closed and will only open wider.”

And despite the trade tiff, Trump on Sunday said he would always be friends with President Xi.

“President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!” he said.

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