Business Times

China waives tariffs on some US goods for first time

The Chinese government issued tariff exemptions on 16 products, including shrimp, fish meal and cancer treatment drugs.
Chinese importers can apply for a refund of tariffs already levied on 12 of the products. Four products, including whey, are eligible for the exemption but not for refunds.
The exemptions will start September 17 and last for a year.
The move is notable because it comes ahead of the next round of face-to-face talks between US and Chinese officials in Washington. But analysts pointed out that the exemption list didn’t include major goods subject to tariffs, like soybeans or meat.
“Chinese tariffs that really matter are the ones on US agricultural and manufacturing goods, produced mainly in states with strong support for [President] Donald Trump,” said Artur Baluszynski, head of research at Henderson Rowe. “We just don’t see China willing to negotiate on them before the race for US presidential elections really kicks off.”
Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, added that while the exemptions could be seen as a “gesture of sincerity,” they are “probably more a means of supporting the economy.”
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