China announced Tuesday that U.S. Sorghum producers have been dumping their product in the Chinese market at artificially low prices. The ruling comes a day after the U.S. Commerce Department banned U.S. companies from selling parts to Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE.
CGTN’s Nathan King has the latest.
The ruling against ZTE, banning U.S. companies from selling parts and software to China’s number two phone maker for seven years, is considered extremely harsh in Beijing and officials said, indicative of the unilateralism of current U.S. trade policy. And, it’s a decision many industry watchers believe threatens the very existence of the Chinese telecom giant.
Now, China has determined the U.S. is dumping sorghum in its market. That’s a grain used in animal feed and the liquor Baijiu. So, it’s imposing higher deposits of 179% on U.S. producers in preparation for expected higher tariffs down the road.
Separately, all this is happening as the U.S. and China prepare for possible tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of each other’s exports and the U.S. prepares a list of an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be sanctioned.
“We have repeatedly expressed China’s clear, definite and firm stand on China-U.S. trade friction caused by the U.S. Section 301 investigation. We hold that the moves of the Unite States are typical unilateralism and are virtual actions of economic hegemony. China and the United States are both big world powers whose economies are highly integrated. We should treat each other on the basis of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Meanwhile, China is detailing plans to phase out share-holding limits for foreign investors in the automobile sector, the country’s top economic planner said Tuesday.
Share-holding limits for special-purpose vehicles and new energy vehicles will be scrapped for foreign investors in 2018, while those for commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles will be lifted in 2020 and 2022 respectively. China said it will also scrap limits on foreign ownership in the shipbuilding and aircraft industries in 2018.
U.S. automakers like Ford have welcomed the move and Chinese officials said reform will continue to make the Chinese economy more resilient to U.S. trade policy.
“China is a huge country with a vast space for development, industrial restructuring and macro regulation. We are fully capable and well-positioned to respond to whatever challenges that may come along, including the trade frictions with the United States, and maintain the sustained and healthy development of our economy,” National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Xing Zhihong said.
China’s reforms are just the sort of policies the Trump administration has said it wants to see. What remains to be seen is whether Washington and Beijing can sit down and solve their differences before tens of billions of dollars of goods are hit with tariffs. No one wins a trade war but time may be running out to stop one from starting.