Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday he’s willing to further open his country’s markets and reduce auto import tariffs amid the exchange of economic threats between the U.S. and China.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Xi said at a business conference that he would move to “significantly lower” China’s auto import tariffs and lessen restrictions on foreign ownership in its auto industry.
Though Xi did not mention President Trump by name, his openness to altering his country’s economic policies comes as the Trump administration and China have traded threats in recent weeks over potential tariffs.
After the U.S. unveiled a list of $50 billion in potential tariffs on Chinese products, Beijing responded with plans to implement billions in penalties on U.S. soybeans, cars and other items.
Trump then ratcheted up his rhetoric last week, saying his administration would consider an additional $100 billion in penalties on Chinese products.
On Sunday, Trump touted his friendship with Xi and expessed optimism that Beijing will remove its “trade barriers because it is the right thing to do."
The back-and-forth has prompted concerns that Trump will spark a global trade war and hurt American workers, particularly farmers who export their crops to China.
Trump on Monday acknowledged that U.S. farmers could be disproportionately affected by trade disputes with China but said they will ultimately "understand" why the confrontation is necessary.
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