Chinas president Xi Jinping announced plans to “significantly” lower import tariffs on cars this year. Furthermore, foreign companies will generally receive better market access and improved investment opportunities.
The statements came as Xi Jinping made a speech at the Asian economic forum in Bo’ao. “China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open wider,” was the wording used by Jinping. Opening the doors would lead to progress, while isolationism would result in falling behind. Over the course of his speech, he also spoke more explicitly about the automotive market.
The import tariffs for cars currently stand at 25% in China, and foreign car manufacturers have to enter a joint venture with a Chinese company in order to produce cars locally. The newly announced lowering of import tariffs will likely benefit Teslas the most, as the Californian brand has delivering to China exclusively as an export market so far.
How exactly the changes will affect Tesla and the rest of the international market will be seen over the next months. Only days ago, Bloomberg reported rumours on a new list circulating that specified goods threatened with higher import tariffs, among them electric cars (we reported). So indeed the potential trade war between the USA and China may affect the situation, making predictions even more difficult, although it is worth lending some weight to the wording used by Xi Jinping.