China orders new tariff on US grain, but eases rules for auto sales

China orders new tariff on US grain, but eases rules for auto sales
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China's government announced a new tariff on U.S. grain Tuesday morning while simultaneously bowing to U.S. demands on automobile imports, CNBC reports.

The country announced a 178 percent tariff on imports of U.S. sorghum, a type of grain used in food and biofuel production, the news channel reports, but at the same time announced a loosening of restrictions surrounding automobile imports, delivering a win to U.S. manufacturers.

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China's government followed up on a promise last week from President Xi Jinping and announced a five-year timetable for the loosening of restrictions on auto and other manufacturing imports.

The move comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's latest round of tariffs targeting China over intellectual property theft, which the Trump administration announced would total nearly $150 billion per year.

U.S. sorghum is relatively cheap in China due to artificial price inflation, which experts say allows the country to target a U.S. export from typically red states. China started mass importing sorghum in 2014, as a result of inflated grain prices set by China's government.

Other experts added that U.S. auto companies, which had already figured out how to make large profits in China, would likely be mostly unaffected by the rules surrounding auto imports. Still, the changes could affect companies like Tesla that do not have a footprint in the country thus far.

"Most of them already have established fully functioning operations in China so this ... might not be that helpful to them," said Tu Le, head of market research company Sino Auto Insights.

President Trump has frequently sought to dispel talk that he has started a trade war with China, despite the two countries' back-and-forth over tariffs and trade policy over the last few weeks.

"We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!" Trump wrote on Twitter in early April.