Democrats fumed over President Trump’s decision to announce and implement tariffs against China. They argued it would thrust the United States into a trade war with the economic giant, agitate the U.S. economy and cause the loss of jobs and businesses.
Initially, China looked to play hardball with the U.S. President as they announced a tariff on more than 100 items from the U.S. Trump fired back as the tensions continued. But, Trump’s persistence might have been just enough for Chinese President Xi Jinping to blink.
On Tuesday, Jinping announced that his country would make two major concessions to Trump and the U.S. First, they announced a move to allow more competition in sales by reducing auto tariffs. Also, they said they would seek to protect U.S. intellectual property rights. As Washington Examiner reports, these were “two key complaints that have led the U.S. and China to the brink of a trade war.”
Per the report:
In a speech to business leaders in China, Xi promised to “significantly lower” tariffs on auto imports, and ease restrictions on foreign ownership of the auto industry “as soon as possible,” according to the Associated Press.
And on IPR, Xi said he would encourage “normal technological exchange” and would “protect the lawful ownership rights of foreign enterprises.”
It’s not clear how quickly China can move on these two issues, especially intellectual property rights. The U.S. has battled unsuccessfully with China for decades to stop the piracy of billions of dollars’ worth of movies, music and other creative content.
China has also required many foreign companies to produce goods in China in order to access its market, which many see as a way to force the import of innovative products.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) April 10, 2018
According to the report, Trump’s tough approach to China “has created an opening for a dialogue that could result in an improved trade relationship.”
Trump offered an example of an egregious tariff in a tweet on Monday morning.
“When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%. Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!” Trump tweeted.
When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%. Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2018
Here’s more on the Chinese concessions, via Daily Wire:
President Trump last week raged about China’s high tariffs against American products. The Mainstream media breathlessly predicted a devastating trade war — one the MSM gleefully declared the U.S. would lose — and said the aggressive move would devastate the stock market.
Neither happened. In fact, the exact opposite occurred.
On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jingping announced plans to “open” China and vowed to “significantly” lower tariffs on automobile imports from the U.S.
“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,” Xi said at the economic Boao Forum for Asia.
Mr Xi also pledged to reject attempts to impose barriers on world trade, saying that “China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open up even wider.”
Xi warned against a tit-for-tat battle over tariffs.
“We must refrain from seeking dominance and reject the zero-sum game, we must refrain from ‘beggar thy neighbor’ and reject power politics or hegemony while the strong bully the weak,” Xi said.
Instead, countries should “stay committed to openness, connectivity and mutual benefits, build an open global economy, and reinforce cooperation within the G-20, APEC and other multilateral frameworks. We should promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, support the multilateral trading system,” he said.
Despite the Chinese concessions, as Fox Business reports, the ongoing trade dispute may take time to unwind as China filed a formal complaint against Trump’s steel tariff:
China has filed a World Trade Organization complaint challenging U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff hike on imported steel and aluminum, the trade body said Tuesday.
The tariff spat is one element of a wide-ranging trade dispute between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government. Trump also has threatened to increase duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods in a separate conflict over technology policy.
China has requested 60 days of consultations with the United States on the steel and aluminum dispute, according to the WTO. If that fails, the next step could be for Beijing to request a ruling from a panel of trade experts.
Beijing says Trump’s decision to impose additional duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent aluminum violate international trade rules.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.