Trump’s Trade War Threat Poses Problems for China and Investors – The New York Times

The National People’s Congress has a body of top leaders, called the standing committee, that has fairly broad powers and meets roughly every two months through the rest of the year. Still, major bills are supposed to be approved by the entire legislature.

James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of the Perkins Coie law firm, said that China’s State Council, its cabinet, could make the necessary changes on its own. However, handling legal changes quietly through the State Council would make them less visible to provincial and local officials in China. The United States has tried to force through changes in how all levels of government in China handle questions like forced technology transfers and export subsidies, not just the national government in Beijing.

Already, the National People’s Congress in March enacted a new foreign investment law that changed many rules for overseas companies doing business in the country. Doing legislative changes then, before the trade talks had ended, was widely seen as a face-saving move by China. But foreign business groups criticized the new law from the start as inadequate.

Outside the trade talks, Beijing has taken other steps to bolster the economy.

Premier Li Keqiang in March pushed through the legislature a tax cut for manufacturers that is likely to particularly help sectors that may be involved in exporting to the United States. Some Chinese companies have already been offering discounts to American corporate buyers to offset part or all of the cost of President Trump’s tariffs. China’s central bank announced on Monday morning that it was adjusting bank rules to make it easier for small and medium-sized banks to lend more money to the country’s private sector.


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