Did China Just Blink?

With all the gloom and doom about the upcoming trade war with China, the fact that China has cut tariffs on US autos.

This does seem to be a bit of a climb-down on their side.

Progress toward easing the steep tariffs China imposed on U.S. vehicle imports this year lifted carmaker stocks across the globe, as investors wagered on a thawing of tensions that have damaged the world’s biggest automotive market.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. tracked earlier gains for Daimler AG, General Motors Co. and Tesla Inc. after Bloomberg News reported that a proposal to eliminate the 25 percent surcharge slapped onto U.S.-made cars this year has been submitted to China’s cabinet. The plan would be reviewed in coming days, people familiar with the matter said.

The levy forms the backbone of China’s response to a trade war instigated by President Donald Trump as he seeks to reset trade relations and spur manufacturing in the U.S. Car sales in China have fallen for six straight months after decades of almost uninterrupted growth, and while there are other factors, the tit-for-tat jabs between the world’s biggest economies have played a role.

As Yves Smith observes, “Um, this does not look like Trump is losing the trade war.”

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