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From BMW to Toyota, firms get relief in crosshairs of China, US trade spat

China will "significantly lower car import tariffs" and "sincerely hopes to boost imports," Xi said


trump, china, trade war

Global carmakers from AG to Motor Corp got some good news from after President reiterated a pledge to reduce import tariffs on vehicles this year, heeding decades-long pleas from companies seeking better access to the world’s biggest auto market.

will “significantly lower car import tariffs” and “sincerely hopes to boost imports,” Xi said in a speech at the Boao Forum in Hainan Tuesday. Xi also reiterated plans to loosen foreign ownership limits for car ventures and said the government will try to roll out the policies as early as possible. He didn’t offer details.

Shares of local carmakers BAIC Motor Corp., and Co. all slumped after the speech as lowering the current 25 per cent import tariff would allow foreign carmakers to bring in more vehicles without being disadvantaged. Xi’s move to open up the car market comes amid a tit-for-tat trade war with the world’s largest economy, in which last week proposed an additional 25 per cent import tax on vehicles made in the US.

High-end autos, in particular, will feel the effects of a tariff cut, as less of their production has moved locally. Toyota’s Lexus, in particular, stands to benefit as the only premium marque that doesn’t manufacture in China or hasn’t announced plans to do so.

First Published: Tue, April 10 2018. 21:08 IST