China's Xi Jinping offers possible trade concessions to US

Xi Jinping addresses US trade concerns after China files complaint at WTO over duties imposed by Washington.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping has pledged to lower car tariffs, improve intellectual property protection and open up the Chinese economy, addressing United States complaints in an escalating trade dispute.

    Xi made his remarks on Tuesday at the Boao economic forum on the southern island of Hainan. He did not mention US President Donald Trump directly.

    “China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open wider,” Xi said in his first public speech since the outbreak of trade tensions between China and the US.

    Also on Tuesday, it emerged that China filed a complaint against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over steel and aluminium products tariffs imposed by Washington.

    A document published on the trade body’s website showed that China had requested 60 days of consultations with Washington over the duties, which China believes are in breach with international trade rules.

    The US announced import duties on steel and aluminium products of 25 and 10 percent respectively in March, prompting fears of a trade war between the world’s biggest economic powerhouses. 

    Last week, the US and China exchanged trade penalties in quick succession.

    On April 3, Trump’s administration threatened to slap tariffs on $50bn in Chinese imports across 1,300 categories of products, ranging from industrial robots to locomotives.

    China announced 25 percent tariffs on critical American exports, including soya beans, aeroplanes and cars the next day.

    Late on Thursday, Trump struck back again by instructing trade officials to consider tariffs worth an additional $100bn on Chinese imports.

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