Tuesday October 15, 2019
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China Agrees To Cut Tariffs on US Cars: Donald Trump

"Given the complexity of interactions between the two economies, the rest of the world will still be holding its collective breath," said the official China Daily in an editorial

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Donald Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

China has agreed to cut tariffs on cars it imports from the US, President Donald Trump has said, after he negotiated a truce in the trade war with Beijing. The announcement boosted the financial markets.
“China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the US. Currently the tariff is 40 per cent,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting boosted financial markets in Asia Pacific on Monday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index led the way with a rise of 2.57 per cent while Hong Kong was up 2.45 per cent and Tokyo closed 1 per cent better off. Australia’s benchmark ASX200 index finished the day up 1.84 per cent.

The increases paved the way for sharp rises on European and US exchanges later in the day with futures trade seeing the FTSE100 opening up by 1.6 per cent and the Dow Jones industrial average on Wall Street expected to leap 2 per cent.

But Donald Trump didn’t give details about the car tariffs or when the change would happen and what the new tariff level would be, CNN reported. There was no immediate response from the Chinese government on cutting car tariffs.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced a breakthrough during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday, temporarily pausing the trade row between the world’s two largest economies that saw tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on each other’s products.

Trump, Government, Afganistan
Trump says China to cut tariffs on US cars; markets rise. VOA

Neither country had mentioned the car tariff issue in their official read-outs of the Trump-Xi weekend meeting in which Washington agreed to hold off on his threat to impose 25 per cent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from January 1, leaving them at the current 10 per cent rate.

In return, Beijing agreed to purchase more agricultural products from US farmers immediately.

Earlier this year, China lowered its tariffs on foreign car imports from 25 per cent to 15 per cent. However, it later imposed new additional tariffs of 25 per cent on American-made passenger vehicles after Trump raised the tariff on Chinese autos from 2.5 to 27.5 per cent.

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The US leader called his deal with Xi “incredible”. “It goes down, certainly – if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Chinese state media warned that while the new “consensus” was a welcome development and gave both sides “breathing space” to resolve their differences, there was no “magic wand” that would allow the grievances to disappear immediately.

“Given the complexity of interactions between the two economies, the rest of the world will still be holding its collective breath,” said the official China Daily in an editorial. (IANS)

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Restricting AI Research with China Harmful: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

If those tariffs are implemented, virtually all Chinese imports would be subject to punitive taxes

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China is a leading force in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and blocking AI research with the country will do more harm than good for humanity, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

In an interview with the BBC, Nadella said that despite national security concerns, backing out of China would “hurt more” than it solved.

“A lot of AI research happens in the open and the world benefits from knowledge being open,” he said.

Quoting Microsoft President Brad Smith, Nadella said: “We know any technology can be a tool or a weapon. The question is, how do you ensure that these weapons don’t get created? I think there are multiple mechanisms.”

Microsoft Research Asia, the company’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in Beijing in November 1998.

The media reported in April alleged that Microsoft has been collaborating with researchers linked to a Chinese military-backed university on AI. The research covered several AI topics, such as face analysis and machine reading.

Microsoft defended the research, saying that it was part of a worldwide effort by its scientists “to work with their international counterparts on cutting-edge technology issues”, reported the Financial Times.

Microsoft
Microsoft doesn’t use customers’ data for profit: Satya Nadella. (Wikimedia Commons)

According to Nadella, they have control on who gets to use their technology.

“And we do have principles. Beyond how we build it, how people use it is something that we control through Terms of Use. And we are constantly evolving the terms of use,” he added.

The International Monetary Fund has said that the trade war between the US and China was triggering a global economic slowdown.

On September 1, the US followed through on plans to impose a 15 per cent tariff on certain Chinese consumer-goods imports including apparel, electronics, footwear and dairy products, that were valued at around $112 billion in 2018.

Those tariffs were in addition to 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports that began to be imposed on July 2018.

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US President Donald Trump’s administration said that it would wait until December 15 to impose tariffs, now set at 15 per cent, on certain mass-consumption products imported from China, including smartphones, laptops, video games and toys.

If those tariffs are implemented, virtually all Chinese imports would be subject to punitive taxes. (IANS)