China and US poised to cool tensions

14 Dec 18

China could cut tariffs on US-made cars to 15% from the current 40%, undoing the import duty hike it introduced this summer.

According to Bloomberg, the Chinese cabinet will review the plans, which would put the same tax levy on US cars as those from other countries. This summer, China put the import duty up to 40%.

This comes as the two countries are due to restart trade talks following months of tension and tariff hikes.

Bloomberg cited “people familiar with the matter” and said the plans had not been finalised and could still change.

In a tweet, US president Donald Trump said “very productive conversations” with China were taking place.

Earlier this month, the G20 countries agreed to improve the global trading system, which they said in a joint declaration was “falling short of its objectives”.

This would include reform of the World Trade Organization.

Following the G20 meeting, Trump said he would delay new 25% tariffs on Chinese imports by 90 days to allow time for negotiations, according to the White House.

Trump said their dinner “was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the US and China”.

A statement by the White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders added: “President Trump has agreed that on January 1 2019 he will leave the tariffs on $200bn worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time.”

She said China had agreed to purchase “a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the US to “reduce the trade imbalance”.

 

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