China exempts selected tariffs on US goods

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

China has removed tariffs from some American goods for the first time since their trade war began.

There was surprise from economic and trade analysts this week as China's State Council said it would be making some US goods exempt from import tariffs.

It published a list of 16 items that would no longer have the 25 per cent duty levy applied to them, which included industrial lubricants and animal feed.

Beijing said the move was designed to ease the trade dispute that has been ongoing between the two nations for a year and its impact on American companies.

However, Bloomberg pointed out the list does not include soy beans or pork, two of the 'big ticket' agricultural products that have been especially hit by the tariffs in the US.

The US also made 110 imported Chinese products exempt from tariffs back in July, most of which included medical equipment and parts.

President Donald Trump's government and their Chinese counterparts agreed earlier this month to restart trade negotiations in Washington in October, the 13th round of talks designed to bridge the impasse between the two superpowers.

It has been suggested that this removal of tariffs could mean Beijing is relenting in its stance against the US, since it is the first time levies have been removed instead of applied.

However, analysts have pointed out that the actions are probably more a means of supporting the Chinese economy than offering an olive branch to Mr Trump.

Indeed, some say the action actually points towards both governments settling in for an extended trade war because they are assessing import controls and looking to alternative markets and suppliers.

The latest removal of import tariffs comes into effect on September 17th 2019 and is set to last until September 16th 2020 - unless, of course, something occurs to change this during the trade negotiations next month.

So far, both Washington and Beijing have raised tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of each other's imports, despite the negative impact on the global economy and fears of a widespread recession.