Home | News | Politics: China looks like it's going to give Trump a huge symbolic trade war win, fueling hope for a big deal

Politics: China looks like it's going to give Trump a huge symbolic trade war win, fueling hope for a big deal

  • China is scrapping its Made in 2025 economic plan, according to a new report.
  • The plan laid out a roadmap for China's economic dominance in key industries such as technology and manufacturing, but was controversial among foreign leaders.
  • Beijing's new economic plan would reportedly place more emphasis on a level playing field for state-owned, private, and foreign firms.
  • It's unclear the depth of these reforms, however, and it could be a symbolic olive branch to President Donald Trump to ease trade war tensions.

The Chinese government is reportedly going to put on ice its well-publicized, controversial plan for economic dominance, in a move that could hand President Donald Trump a big, if symbolic, trade war victory.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Beijing is preparing to replace its Made in China 2025 plan with a new economic blueprint that would aim for increased access to China for foreign companies.

Made in China 2025 drew the ire of Trump and many other US officials because of its focus on making China the dominant player in emerging fields of technology and manufacturing, as well as its support for domestic firms with subsidies.

According to the Journal, the new plan would place a greater emphasis on making the Chinese market open to all companies, including foreign firms, and would level the playing field for state-owned, private, and foreign firms.

Additionally, the new plan would reportedly eliminate direct market share targets. Under Made in China 2025, Beijing set goals for the percentage of components for certain technologies that should be produced domestically.

It's not clear exactly the depth of these changes or if they would satisfy the Trump administration's desire for fundamental economic reforms. It also comes after years if increased economic intervention on the part of the Chinese government in an effort to make the country's economy more consumption-driven.

But despite the potentially symbolic nature of the gesture, Trump can count the end of Made in China 2025 as a win given his criticism of the plan.

The move also comes as the two countries attempt to break the stalemate over their trade war that has developed over the past nine months.

Read more: We're finally seeing some encouraging signs in the US-China trade war»

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to delay further escalation and push back the increase of US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Since the Trump-Xi dinner at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 1, US and Chinese officials have played up their commitment to the deal and prospects for a broader trade agreement.

In a call Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — the country's top economic official — promised to increase purchases of US agricultural and energy goods. He also pledged to reduce China's tariffs on American-made cars which were jacked up to 40% in July as part of the trade war.

But while the early signs form the talks are positive, it remains to be seen whether the commitments produce actual results. For instance, despite the promise to purchase US soybeans — a key crop for American farmers — no Chinese orders have been placed.

Stocks opened higher following the report, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining roughly 300 points, or 1.2% and the S&P 500 up 30 points, also 1.2%, as of 9:40 a.m. ET.

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