Trade war: Signs of progress in US-China talks

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But the tangible move by China to suspend tariffs on cars and auto parts, as announced by Trump on Twitter shortly after the meeting, is a sign that trade negotiations remain on track.

China is the world's biggest auto market but most US -branded vehicles sold in the United States are manufactured in Chinese factories. "It could happen, and rather soon!" he tweeted.

On Friday, the Chinese Finance Ministry released a statement announcing that it would reduce its auto tariffs back down to 15 percent. German carmakers such as BMW AG and Daimler AG would also benefit as they bring to China US-made cars. "We look forward to learning more", a spokesman for Ford said after Trump announced China would cut auto tariffs earlier this month.

But another China-based auto industry expert, Jacob George, vice president and general manager of the Chinese branch of USA marketing intelligence company J.D. Power, said last week that the third-party data about Tesla's plunging sales was accurate, as sales had suffered from frequent price changes in the latter half of this year.

As part of the detente, the United States agreed to suspend for 90-days a planned tariff increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The value of USA passenger auto exports to China has fallen by $2.4 billion, or 30%, over the course of the first nine months of the year.

Meanwhile, China has indicated it plans to move ahead with the talks despite the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada.

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"We applaud both governments for working together constructively to reduce trade barriers and open markets", Hinrichs added.

In response to such concerns, the Chinese regime is reportedly planning to scrap an industrial policy, "Made in China 2025", in favor of a program more hospitable to foreign companies.

China apparently retaliated by detaining two Canadians on suspicion of "harm to national security" - a phrase often used by Beijing when alleging espionage.

The tariff suspension will benefit USA carmakers like Tesla and Ford which have seen China sales tumble. That would be almost 10 times the $13 billion worth of vehicles the United States exported to China past year.

Worldwide automakers Daimler, maker of the Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have also exported American-made SUVs to China.

Earlier on Friday, economic data showed Chinese consumer spending grew at its slowest pace in 15 years and factories eased up in November, raising the prospect that Beijing could turn to fresh stimulus measures to help the sputtering economy.

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