Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

China to liberalize foreign ownership rules

China to liberalize foreign ownership rules

It was unclear whether that might mollify Mr Trump, who has threatened tariff hikes on 150 billion United States dollars of Chinese goods in response to complaints Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

Today (April 17), the Chinese commerce ministry announced the importers of USA sorghum must pay a hefty deposit worth 178.6% of the value of shipments, effective tomorrow.

A preliminary ruling by China's Commerce Ministry said USA sorghum was being sold at improperly low prices, hurting Chinese farmers.

The threatened tariffs on a 150 billion worth of Chinese goods, and 50 billion of USA goods, would dent economic growth on both sides of the Pacific, analysts say.

A preliminary ruling by the Commerce Ministry said United States sorghum was being sold at improperly low prices, hurting Chinese farmers.

The ministry said in a statement (link Chinese) that local businesses were "substantially damaged" by American sorghum imports-mostly used in China to feed livestock or make liquor.

China is the largest buyer of USA sorghum - grown mostly in the rural American South, a region that voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 election.

Data from the MOC showed US sorghum exports to China surged from 317,000 tonnes in 2013 to 4.76 million tonnes in 2017, while export prices have slumped 31 percent during the period, which led to a fall in domestic prices that hurt local industries.

"The biggest challenge for China's economy this year is a possible slump in the growth of consumer spending", said Jiang Chao, chief economist at Haitong Securities.

Carmakers had been waiting for details since President Xi Jinping announced in a speech last week that ownership restrictions would be eased and auto import duties reduced.

This will be followed by the removal of ownership obstacles in 2022 for makers of commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

Automakers complied because they gained access to China's populous market, which passed the 2009 as the world's biggest by number of vehicles sold.

The NDRC also said the shipbuilding industry will do away this year with foreign ownership restrictions for firms designing, making and repairing vessels. Sales of sedans, SUVs and minivans past year totaled 24.8 million units, about 55 percent of which was American, European, Japanese and Korean brands.

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