China has filed a dispute with the World Trade Organization alleging the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum violate world trade rules. However, the nation also reconfirmed it will open it’s economy by lowering tariffs on cars, paving the way for negotiations. “Actions speak louder than words” when it comes to China, one U.S. economist told Reuters. But, China’s President did announce this week the intention to raise the foreign ownership limit in the automobile, shipbuilding and aircraft sectors “as soon as possible”, and push previously announced measures to open the financial sector.
Plans to open the auto sector to the U.S. by China have been in the works since before the Trump administration. The announcement by China could offer a glimmer of negotiation to end or dampen the trade spat, which includes proposed tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. Trump has been insistent that the two nations will reach a mutually beneficial agreement, while Chinese officials recently said negotiations would be impossible under “current circumstances.”