China is reportedly willing to meet one of President Trump’s chief trade demands as negotiations to ease tensions between the world’s two most powerful economies continues.
Beijing is prepared to offer increased access to foreign companies in a plan expected to be rolled out in early 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the matter.
Beijing is revising President Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 plan – intended to make the country dominant in high-tech manufacturing – to give foreign companies more opportunities to participate, according to the report.
The reforms could include eliminating defined targets for market share among Chinese companies, which currently call for increasing domestic production of core components to 70 percent by 2025.
Chinese officials have also reportedly stopped mentioning Made in China 2025 plan at press conferences. On Monday, officials in Beijing released a revised version of economic priorities, which appeared to drop mention of implementing the economic plan.
The move would be the latest among a string of preliminary signs the trade war between the two countries could be deescalating.
Earlier this week, Chinese trade officials said they were planning to reduce auto tariffs and increase imports of some agricultural products, like soybeans. Tariffs on U.S. vehicles could be cut to 15 percent, from 40 percent, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.
During the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Trump and Xi reached a trade truce, under which the U.S. would hold off on raising tariffs on most imports from China to 25 percent.
Trump is still putting pressure on China to reform its intellectual property protections. He has said the country steals hundreds billions of dollars’ worth of intellectual goods from the U.S. each year.