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News from China
Impact from tariffs 'generally controllable'
28th May 2019

 Tariff hikes by the United States will to some extent result in an increase of enterprise operation costs, lower competitiveness and fewer orders, but their impact on China’s manufacturing sector is generally controllable, a senior official said in an interview.

 
The US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods on which the United States imposed additional tariffs accounts for 41.8 percent of China’s exports to the country, but only 8 percent of China’s total exports, said Wang Zhijun, vice minister of industry and information technology. Moreover, about half of the affected enterprises are foreign-funded enterprises, including many American companies, said Wang.
 
In other words, the tariff hikes hurt not only the interests of Chinese enterprises and consumers, but also US companies and consumers as well as the global supply chain, said Wang.
 
Also yesterday, foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China always maintained the position that any trade consultation with the United States should be based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
 
US President Donald Trump said that Washington was not ready to make a trade deal with Beijing. Lu said for some time, the US side, including some high-level personnel, had made various comments on China-US trade consultations. Sometimes they said a trade deal would be reached, and sometimes they said there might be some difficulties in reaching a deal, he added. “If you review China’s remarks in the same period, you will find that our position has always been the same,” Lu said.
 
The latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the value added by China’s major industrial firms increased 5.4 percent year on year in April, beating market expectations and posting an optimized structure. In addition, the purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector held steady at 50.1, remaining within the expansion range.
 
NBS statistics also showed that profits of China’s major industrial firms fell 3.7 percent year on year in April, thanks to a higher base in April last year and an earlier unleash of the market demand in March as lower value-added tax rate was implemented on April 1.
 
Li Chao, an analyst with Huatai Research Institute, said that industrial profits would return to the positive territory, but how fast will depend on market demand, prices and the policy incentives of tax cuts and fee reductions.
 
“Trade frictions may amplify short-term fluctuations but will not impact the long-term trend of asset prices based on what happened during the US-Japan and US-EU trade frictions,” Li said.
 
As enterprises may continue to foreload their exports, the data will not worsen in the second quarter, he said.
 
Based on figures from April, China’s manufacturing sector has seen improving structure and efficiency. Among the 41 sub-sectors, 27 saw higher profits and 14 reported lower earnings in April.
 
The structural change was in line with a shift in China’s economic growth drivers from exports and investment to domestic consumption and high-end industries, analysts said. For every 100 yuan of revenue they generated, the costs they bore fell by 1.1 yuan from a year earlier to 88.7 yuan in April.
 
Wang said that manufacturing firms’ confidence had been enhanced thanks to the gradual unleashing of policy dividends as a result of the country’s lower value-added tax rate.
 
In the long run, innovation will be the main engine to propel the expansion of China’s manufacturing industry. To encourage corporate innovation, China unveiled various measures, including establishing a series of innovation centers and laboratories, increasing support for enterprises in key fields and optimizing innovation-oriented policies.
 
Wang said China will place greater emphasis on innovation in enterprises’ development and urge them to increase research and development investment with more tax cuts and fund and loan issuances for innovation projects.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 28, 2019
China imposes provisional anti-dumping duties on phenol imports
27th May 2019

 China's Ministry of Commerce announced Monday that it would levy provisional anti-dumping duties on phenol imported from the United States, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Thailand.

 
After a preliminary investigation that started in March last year, the MOC determined that phenol imports from the regions had caused substantial damage to the domestic industry.
 
Importers of the product must place deposits with Chinese customs calculated according to the dumping margins, which ranged between 11.9 percent to 129.6 percent, according to the MOC.
 
Phenol is an aromatic organic compound used as a pharmaceutical preservative and in dilution.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 27, 2019
US tariffs on Chinese goods almost entirely borne by US importers, says IMF study
24th May 2019

 US tariff revenue collected from levies on Chinese goods "has been borne almost entirely by US importers," a study by the International Monetary Fund has found.

 
The study, released on Thursday, said previously imposed tariffs have reduced trade between the United States and China, but "the bilateral trade deficit remains broadly unchanged."
 
The study also said some of the additional tariffs have been passed on to US consumers, while others have been absorbed by importing firms through lower profit margins.
 
"Consumers in the US and China are unequivocally the losers from trade tensions," the study said.
 
Earlier this month, the United States increased additional tariffs on 200 billion US dollars' worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, and has threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports.
 
In response, China has announced that it will raise additional tariffs on a range of US imports from June 1, and "will fight to the end."
 
"A further increase in tariffs will likely be similarly passed through to consumers," the IMF study said.
 
"While the impact on global growth is relatively modest at this time, the latest escalation could significantly dent business and financial market sentiment, disrupt global supply chains, and jeopardize the projected recovery in global growth in 2019."
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 24, 2019
CIDI establishes research institutes
23rd May 2019

 The China Industrial Design Institute has established two innovation research institutes — intelligent connected vehicles and intelligent manufacturing — and an academy in Shanghai on Wednesday.

 
The CIDI also plans to establish institutes on 3D printing and civil aviation.
 
An international industrial design exhibition will be held from August 30 to September 1 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
 
The CIDI is also seeking entries for a design award in eight areas including equipment manufacture, fashion and aviation. The winners will be announced in December.
 
CIDI has conducted research projects on the integrated development of the design and manufacturing industries, and the development of industrial design.
 
Experts shared their insights into topics such as the prospect of intelligent connected vehicles, the trend of China's intelligent manufacturing, and design-driven innovation during the unveiling event in Yangpu District.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 23, 2019

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