More Movement from China on Trade

By December 26, 2007Trade

From The Financial Times:

Metal and oil prices rose on Wednesday following an announcement by China that it was to scrap import duties on copper, coal and aluminium, and halve tax on oil products from the beginning of next year.

Export taxes on some steel products, coking coal and coke will also be raised to curb profits on exports of polluting products, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Wall Street Journal focuses on the export duties:

China currently has far more steel than it can use and therefore the tariff increase is likely to weigh on domestic prices next year as less gets exported. That said, the move should reduce steel production, thereby easing pollution. China also hopes the move will help it avoid anti-dumping disputes with other countries.

China’s overall trade surplus has been rising by about $70 billion annually in the past two years, so lower exports of products such as steel would help improve the trade balance.

Mixed bag, seems like…Lower import charges on metals could increase world market costs, hitting those U.S. manufacturers who are already struggling with higher costs of raw materials.

But the fact is, China’s cutting duties on imports, a significant step toward freer trade.

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