In Latest Trade Salvo, China Imposes 179 Percent Tariff On US Sorghum

The Great Depresion

Asia Generally Lower Amid China Trade News

But in another move that could exacerbate tensions, China decided Tuesday to slap provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of U.S. sorghum, saying its domestic industry has suffered from "substantial damage".

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

The Commerce Ministry made a decision to launch anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes into US' sorghum in early February.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said USA sorghum exports to China rose from 317,000 tonnes in 2013 to 4.76 million tonnes in 2017, while price of the exported sorghum fell in 31 per cent - harming Chinese farmers.

Investigators concluded dumping of US sorghum "substantially damaged" Chinese competitors, the Commerce Ministry said.

It said the investigation had found Chinese imports of sorghum had increased 14-fold in the five years from 2013 even as the price for the commodity fell 31 percent.

In the escalating trade war between China and the US, Beijing is taking aim at American farmers, a key support group for Donald Trump. It was unclear whether that might mollify the US president and his complaints that Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

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.

The GDP growth rate has stayed within the range of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent for 11 quarters, with the jobless rate and inflation remaining stable, he said. Trump complained Beijing was hampering trade by charging a 25 percent import duty on most cars while the US charges less than 3 percent.

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

One vehicle company likely to gain is electric auto giant Tesla led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who this year had asked US President Donald Trump for help on the market access issue, alluding to the troubles his firm has faced producing in China.

China is the world's biggest electric vehicle market, with last year's sales rising 53 percent over 2016 to 770,000 vehicles.

The NDRC said the shipbuilding industry would this year scrap foreign ownership restrictions on firms designing, making and repairing vessels.

"Foreign brands will not have as much of an advantage as they had with combustion engines", said Zeng.

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