China announces new list of US imports eligible for trade war tariff waivers

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Published: May 12, 2020 6:46 PM

This is the second list of American goods to be excluded from the second round of tariff countermeasures against the US Section 301 measure, according to a statement from the Customs Tariff Commission of China's State Council.

The US goods trade deficit with China was USD 419.2 billion in 2018. (Representative image)The US goods trade deficit with China was USD 419.2 billion in 2018.
(Representative image)

China on Tuesday released a list of 79 American products which will be exempted from the second round of retaliatory tariffs imposed at the peak of the bilateral trade war, as it faced fresh pressure from the US to import more to end the bruising dispute.

This is the second list of American goods to be excluded from the second round of tariff countermeasures against the US Section 301 measure, according to a statement from the Customs Tariff Commission of China’s State Council.

The exemption will be valid from May 19, 2020, to May 18, 2021, it said.

There are 79 products in total on the list published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance that included rare earth mineral ores, aircraft radar equipment, semiconductor parts, medical disinfectants, and a range of precious metals, chemical and petrochemical products.

The first batch of exclusions was announced in September 2019, and included major agricultural commodities such as soybeans and pork, as well as petrochemical products.

Tariffs that have already been levied will be refunded, the statement said.
The remaining US products subject to China’s second round of additional tariffs will not be excluded for the time being, it said.

For US products that are not on the first two lists, the commission advised enterprises to apply for the exemption of additional tariffs following a specific product list that applies to domestic firms which plan to sign deals to purchase and import these products from the United States in a market-oriented and commercial fashion, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The US and China signed the phase one deal on January 16 to end the 22-month-long trade war during which two countries slapped tit-for-tat tariff hikes over nearly half a trillion USD worth of products.

Under the January deal, China agreed to increase its purchases of US goods from a 2017 baseline by USD 200 billion over two years.

China’s announcement comes at a point when two countries are engaged in fiery exchanges over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic that had cast a shadow over the deal.

US President Donald Trump last week threatened to tear up the phase one trade deal if China did not increase its imports of US goods, as per the purchasing agreement element of the deal.

Trump had launched the trade war with China in 2018 demanding Beijing to reduce the massive trade deficit.

The US goods trade deficit with China was USD 419.2 billion in 2018.

His demands included an intrusive verification mechanism to supervise Beijing’s promise to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.

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