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February 19, 2020

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China set to relax tariffs on US goods

China will grant duty exemptions imposed on 696 American-made goods in response to the US Section 301 tariff measures, the most substantial tariff relief to date, as the country seeks to fulfill commitments made to the United States in its interim trade deal.

Beginning March 2, China’s tax authority will accept exemption applications from domestic firms covering additional tariffs imposed on US products within a certain timeframe, the commission said.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after the first phase of the trade deal between the two countries took effect February 14, and is the third round of tariff exemptions on US goods China has offered.

As part of the agreement, China committed to boosting purchases of US goods and services by US$200 billion over two years, and rolled back additional tariffs on US imports after the deal was signed.

Range of goods qualify

The new policy covers a specific list of products and applies to domestic firms intending to sign deals to purchase and import US products in a market-oriented and commercially viable fashion.

US goods eligible for tariff exemptions include key agricultural and energy products, such as pork, beef, soybeans, liquefied natural gas and crude oil, which were subject to additional tariffs imposed during the dispute.

Tuesday’s announcement emphasized that Chinese firms will submit applications for tariff exemptions based on market conditions and commercial considerations.

Other products subject to exemption on additional tariffs imposed include denatured ethanol, wheat, corn and sorghum.

Some medical devices and metals, including copper ore and concentrates, copper scrap and aluminum scrap, are also subject to exemption.

Pharmaceutical products, such as recombinant human insulin and some antibiotics, are among US products eligible for tariff exemptions as well.

Firms can start submitting applications March 2, and any exemptions granted are valid for one year.


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