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GM, Tesla shares jump after China's Xi announces plan to lower car tariffs

  • Tesla, Ford and General Motors all rise.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping says his plans include "significantly" lowering import tariffs on foreign autos and decreasing duties of other products.
  • "We have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account," Xi says.
  • Xi's comments come amid increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
President of China, Xi Jinping.
SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President of China, Xi Jinping.

Shares of U.S. automakers jumped Tuesday after China's president unveiled a plan to "open" the country's economy.

Tesla rose 5.2 percent while Fiat Chrysler climbed 2 percent. Ford Motor rose 1.8 percent and General Motors gained 3.3 percent. China is a key market for U.S. automakers. European automakers also rose, with BMW climbing 3 percent.

GM sold more than 4 million cars in China last year for the first time, while Tesla doubled its revenue from China to $2 billion in 2017.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said his plans include "significantly" lowering import tariffs on foreign autos and decreasing duties of other products.

"We have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account," Xi said at the Boao Forum for Asia, according to a translation of the speech.

Xi's comments come amid increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. In response to U.S. tariff plans, China announced fresh levies last week on 106 U.S. products, which then saw President Donald Trump threatening more duties.

The U.S. softened its tone slightly against China this weekend. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CBS on Sunday he does not expect a trade war between the U.S. and China to take place.

Meanwhile, Trump said in a tweet Sunday: "President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do."