China’s Xi renews pledges to open economy, cut tariffs this year

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products including cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

While most of the pledges were reiterations of previously announced measures, for which foreign business groups say implementation is long overdue, Xi’s comments sent U.S. stock futures, the dollar and Asian shares higher.

Xi said that China will sharply widen market access for foreign investors, a chief complaint of the country’s trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods.

The speech at the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan had been widely anticipated as one of Xi’s first major addresses in a year in which the ruling Communist Party marks the 40th anniversary of its landmark economic reforms and opening up under former leader Deng Xiaoping.

source: Reuters

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