China hits U.S. sorghum with anti-dumping measure

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Fears of a trade war with the U.S. have also roiled markets in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging warnings of tit-for-tat tariffs on a significant portion of their bilateral trade.

China announced on Tuesday (April 17) temporary anti-dumping measures on U.S. sorghum, potentially hitting United States growers and exacerbating the brewing trade war between Beijing and Washington.

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.

Germany's BMW, which has a big stake in trade relations between Beijing and Washington as the biggest exporter of vehicles from the United States to China, welcomed the decision.

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Still, after Xi struck the conciliatory note in his speech, Trump showed no indication he would back down from imposing the threatened tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing said it was ready to hit back in kind.

The measures on sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and for making the fiery traditional Chinese liquor baijiu, target farm areas that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

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

The GDP growth rate has stayed within the range of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent for 11 quarters, with the jobless rate and inflation remaining stable, he said.

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

The Commerce Ministry chose to launch anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes into US' sorghum in early February.

This will be followed by the removal of ownership obstacles in 2022 for makers of commercial vehicles and passenger cars. "More or less, Chinese brands already compete with them on a similar level in electric cars".

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

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China imposed ownership restrictions in 1994, limiting foreign carmakers to owning no more than a 50% share of any local venture. Sales of sedans, SUVs and minivans previous year totaled 24.8 million units, about 55 percent of which was American, European, Japanese and Korean brands.