China to cut consumer product tariffs, lift financing to boost imports: vice minister
China will lower tariffs and step up bank financing to support more imports as the country`s massive trade surplus has a negative impact on its citizens, commerce ministry officials told reporters on Thursday.
China runs a vast trade surplus and has been accused by other countries including the United States of protecting domestic firms through unfair trade practices including high import tariffs.
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to visit China next week, with the trade relationship expected to be a major topic of discussion.
"A trade surplus that is too large has a negative impact on Chinese people`s enjoyment of national wealth. Only by reducing the trade surplus can Chinese people feel a greater sense of gratification," said Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister Fu Ziying.
China will lower import tariffs on consumer products, encourage banks to expand import financing, and increase imports of advanced technological equipment and key components, said Wang Bingnan, another vice commerce minister.
"The Ministry of Commerce and other departments will further improve and refine policies, and work to create an environment that is fair, law-based, international and simplified business environment, to promote the healthy and stable development of foreign trade," said Wang.
Details were not provided on what kind of products would be effected.
Trump on Wednesday called the U.S. trade deficit with China "embarrassing" and "horrible" ahead of a trip to Asia starting Friday that includes visits to five countries, including China.
The commerce ministry also said on Thursday China`s trade with countries involved in its "Belt and Road" initiative rose 15 percent in the first nine months of the year from a year earlier to $785.9 billion, reflecting the effectiveness of the ambitious trade initiative.
First mentioned during a speech President Xi Jinping gave to university students in Kazakhstan in 2013, the initiative is a vehicle for China to take a greater role on the international stage by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries.
Direct investment from Chinese firms in "Belt and Road" countries totalled $9.6 billion in January-September, the ministry said. That was down 13.8 percent from the same period a year earlier, a Reuters calculation based on commerce ministry data showed.
China`s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) plummeted 41.9 percent in the period from a year earlier to $78.03 billion, as tight capital flow controls continued to bite.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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