US-China Trade War End In Sight? Trump Hails Jinping's Kind Words As China Lowers Tariffs

| April 11 , 2018 , 11:18 IST

Indicating a possible end to the tit-for-tat tariffs the US and China have been imposing on each other in a 'trade-war' of sorts, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday announced plans to open up the Chinese economy, including reducing tariffs for autos and other products. Jinping also announced plans to enforce the legal intellectual property of foreign firms, another issue contested by the US.

President Jinping's statements were hailed by US President Donald Trump, who had sparked the 'trade war' after levying increased tariffs on steel and aluminium from China.  

"Very thankful for President Xi of China’s kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers...also, his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers. We will make great progress together!" Trump tweeted.

Xi Jinping, whose term as president was recently announced to be open-ended, made the statements regarding trade during a speech at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, which is known as the "Asian Davos".

"China does not seek [a] trade surplus. We have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account," Jinping said, as per a translation of the speech.

"We hope developed countries will stop imposing restrictions on normal and reasonable trade of high-tech products and relax export controls on such trade with China," he said, without naming any specific country.

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"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," Jinping said.

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," the Chinese President said.

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"This way, we will make economic globalization, more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all," he added.

So far, US has ordered import tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, to which China responded by ordering tariffs on $3 billion of US imports. US next imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China, and China imposed tariffs on 128 US products. Most recently, on Wednesday US announced tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods, which led to China imposing tariffs on 106 US products.

On April 6, Trump instructed trade officials to "consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate."