China denies Xi comments aimed at settling trade dispute with US


"He's going to open it up, take down a lot of the trade barriers - maybe all of them - but take down a lot of trade barriers".

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged yesterday to lower auto tariffs this year and take other steps to open the world's number two economy "wider and wider", addressing major complaints by the United States in a simmering trade row.

"Ultimately, U.S. industry will be looking for implementation of long-stalled economic reforms, but actions to date have greatly undermined the optimism of the U.S. business community", Parker said in an email.

He also said "Cold War mentality" and arrogance had become obsolete and would be repudiated.

China will significantly lower the import tariffs for vehicles and reduce import tariffs for some other products this year.

Also Tuesday, China filed a WTO challenge against Trump's earlier tariff hike on steel and aluminum in a separate dispute. He hopes to contrast his softer stance with Trump's "America First" approach, which has focused on restricting imports and renegotiating trade agreements to win better terms for the United States.

David Dollar, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, noted that the United States won't impose its tariffs until after it gives the American public weeks to comment on the plans. And yet few of his pledges signaled much change.

Even Chinese President Xi Jinping has acknowledged that China needs to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights. Officials have gradually reduced taxes on auto imports and discussed chopping them further. The People's Bank of China said on Wednesday that previously announced moves to put foreign companies on an equal footing with domestic rivals in the financial services sector would be implemented by the end of the year. It's still unclear when that will happen.

Beijing, which has issued a $3 billion list of US goods including pork and apples for possible retaliation, requested 60 days of consultations as a first step. The saying, meant to celebrate China's unique blend of socialism and a market-driven economy, contained another message: that China would continue to play by its own rules.

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Global markets are higher as investors watch developments in the simmering trade dispute between the USA and China.

He added: "Up to now China and the United States has not carried out negotiation at any level on the trade frictions".

Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters during a regular briefing, however, that Xi's remarks had nothing to do with the trade row and should not be mischaracterized as a concession to Washington. Business groups welcomed the commitment but said breaking into China's state-dominated financial industries would be hard for new competitors and Beijing might impose restrictions that would make such an effort unprofitable.

The State Council Information Office, which represents China's central government, didn't reply to faxed questions Monday on US trade talks. China was open to talks with the USA, but wouldn't initiate them under the current conditions, the person said, citing Liu.

"Does that sound like free or fair trade".

The speech "underdelivers after all the hype from Beijing", Eurasia Group's Evan Medeiros and Michael Hirson wrote in a research note. The biggest such deal to fall through was aluminium giant China Zhongwang Holdings' proposed US$2.3 billion acquisition of Aleris in November after regulators cancelled it over economic and national security concerns.

"That could be a source of unresolved tension in coming days".

Some still viewed Xi's speech as a welcome de-escalation after last week's antics. The U.S. bought more than $500 billion in goods from China previous year and now is planning or considering penalties on some $150 billion of those imports.

Peter Navarro properly observed last Sunday, "What we want from China is very clear".