China to scrap foreign auto ownership limits by 2022

17 April, 2018, 20:19 | Author: Martin Tyler
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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.

Data from the MOC showed USA sorghum exports to China surged from 3.17 lakhs tonnes in 2013 to 4.76 million tonnes in 2017, while export prices have slumped 31 per cent during the period, which led to a fall in domestic prices that hurt local industries, the Ministry said.

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.

In China, sorghum is used in animal feed and also in the production of a popular type of Chinese liquor.

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China will allow full foreign ownership of carmakers in five years, ending restrictions that helped to fuel its trade dispute with US President Donald Trump as it promotes electric auto development.

A preliminary ruling by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) of China found that USA companies had dumped grain sorghum on the Chinese market, and such imports had caused substantial damage to the domestic industry, the MOC said. It was unclear whether that might mollify the US president and his complaints that Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Trump complained Beijing was hampering trade by charging a 25 percent import duty on most cars while the US charges less than 3 percent.

"China has consistently asked Chinese companies to comply with the laws and policies of host countries and manage their businesses in line with laws and regulations", said the spokesperson.

The highly symbolic moves in autos come after President Xi Jinping said last week China would scrap ownership limits "as soon as possible".

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Limits on foreign ownership of electric vehicle producers will be eliminated this year, the Cabinet's planning agency said.

China imposed ownership restrictions in 1994, limiting foreign carmakers to owning no more than a 50% share of any local venture.

The move will be followed by commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger cars in 2022, when it will also abolish restrictions limiting foreign automakers to two joint-venture partners, the NDRC said in a statement.

China is the world's biggest electric vehicle market, with last year's sales rising 53 percent over 2016 to 770,000 vehicles. "More or less, Chinese brands already compete with them on a similar level in electric cars".

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The agency is also drowning in "higher than normal" costs of retiree benefits, including pensions and health care. Those obligations for current and past employees stood at $38 billion at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

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