China to relax foreign ownership limits on cars, other industries

China to relax foreign ownership limits on cars, other industries

The country slapped a temporary fee on USA sorghum on Tuesday after the United States banned American companies from selling parts to Chinese phone maker ZTE Corp on Monday. China is one of the biggest foreign markets for US sorghum growers.

It said preliminary results of a trade probe found United States sorghum, a grain used as animal feed and in alcohol distilling, was sold at improperly low prices that hurt Chinese farmers.

China's Commerce Ministry says it will force USA sorghum exporters to pay a temporary 178.6 percent "deposit", which will act as a tariff on the cereal grain that is used in China as feed for cattle and as a sweetener in many products, including baijiu, a popular Chinese liquor.

It said prices of US sorghum fell 13 percent from 2013 to 2017, while shipments increased 14-fold.

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

"China's full opening of the manufacturing industry is a clear indication of our opposition to trade and investment protectionism, and shows our clear support to widening and deepening the development of economic globalisation", the NDRC said in the announcement. It was unclear whether that might mollify the USA president and his complaints that Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.




Analysts say the financial risk battle will take a toll on growth but China is counting on its 1.4 billion consumers to pick up the slack.

President Xi Jinping announced the plans last week without providing any details. Trump is pressuring China to reduce United States dollars 375 billion trade deficit to USD 100 billion.

That will be followed by a similar repeal for makers of commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger vehicles in 2022.

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.

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

Sales of sedans, SUVs and minivans past year totalled 24.8 million units, about 55% of which were American, European, Japanese and Korean brands. Beijing is using sales quotas and fuel efficiency standards to press global automakers to help local suppliers develop battery technology.

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