China softens tariffs on selected US imports

Tax | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Could the Sino-US trade war be drawing to a close as China removes selected tariffs?

There have been signs that the ongoing trade war between China and the US may be easing off, with China this week announcing a set of tariff waivers.

Beijing revealed yesterday (Thursday 18th December 2019) that six items imported from the US will be eligible for tariff exemptions, including white oil polypropylene and food-grade petroleum wax.

The Ministry of Finance said the waivers will come into effect on December 26th and end on December 25th 2020, although it did not provide the value of the imports.

China also revealed it will continue to work on product exemptions and is to release another batch 'at an appropriate time', but added that duties already imposed on the same products will not be refunded.

The news comes just days after the two countries agreed what is being referred to as a Phase 1 trade deal.

Trade teams are reported to be in close communication to ensure the signature of the economic agreement, which will result in lower US tariffs on Chinese goods and more purchases of American agricultural, energy and factory-made products.

Few further details were made available, but spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng told reporters at a briefing that both sides have agreed to complete the necessary procedures.

"After the official signing of the deal, the content of the agreement will be made public," he added.

Shortly after the agreement of the Phase 1 trade deal, China also announced that it would be suspending its planned further tariffs on more US products.

The news has led to increased hopes that the Sino-US friction that has led to a prolonged trade war and a major headache for global policymakers could be easing off.

Indeed, some analysts have already said that extending it would not be in China's best interests as it continues its economic development and attempts to build trade relationships with other countries, which may be why it is now apparently extending an olive branch to the US.