Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Economy | By

China to exempt 16 categories of USA products from tariffs

China to exempt 16 categories of USA products from tariffs

The ministry said items on the two tariff exemption lists posted on its website will not be subject to additional duties imposed by China on US goods "as countermeasures to US Section 301 measures", it said.

The exemptions announced Wednesday will become effective on September 17 and be valid for one year, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, which released two lists that include seafood products and anti-cancer drugs.

Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say those plans violate China's market-opening commitments and are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.

The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the U.S. ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy.

In a tweet early Wednesday, US President Donald Trump noted the tariff exemptions, saying the trade war was proving more costly for China than previously thought.

Beijing has exempted 16 types of US-made goods from additional tariffs that were introduced as a retaliatory measure after Washington raised duties on a number of Chinese products.

Products covered by Wednesday's exemptions include lubricants, insecticides, and whey and fish meal for animal feed.

China's State Council has exempted some tariffs on USA goods.

Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese imports, or nearly everything the United States buys from China.

It said Beijing had been sounding a more "constructive" note in recent weeks over trade relations.

China's tariff retaliation strategy to date has focused heavily on curbing trade of agricultural and manufactured goods produced in US states key for President Donald Trump's re-election chances.

In their latest escalation, Washington imposed 15% tariffs on $112 billion of Chinese products on September 1 and is planning to hit another $160 billion December 15. Trump has warned China will face a tougher USA negotiating stance if he is re-elected. That will be followed by highly-anticipated minister-level meetings in early October in the U.S. capital, involving Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Goods on the second list won't be eligible for tariff refunds, the Chinese Finance Ministry said.

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