China to waive tariffs on some U.S. soybeans, pork in goodwill gesture
In a positive gesture, China said on Friday that it will waive import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the United States, as the two sides try to thrash out a broader agreement to defuse their protracted trade war.
The tariff waivers were based on applications by individual firms for U.S. soybeans and pork imports, the finance ministry said in a statement, citing a decision by the country’s cabinet. It did not specify the quantities involved.
China had imposed the levies in response to tariffs launched by Washington over allegations that China steals and forces the transfer of American intellectual property to Chinese firms, known as Section 301. That includes tariffs of 25% on both U.S. soybeans and pork in July 2018 and a further 10% on pork and 5% on soybeans in September this year.
The waiver comes amid negotiations between the United States and China to conclude a ‘phase one’ or interim deal to de-escalate a 17-month trade war that has roiled financial markets, disrupted supply chains and weighed on global economic growth.
A deal had initially been expected last month, but the two sides are said to be still seeking agreement on major issues such as which tariffs to roll back and the size of U.S. farm purchases China is willing to make.
Though President Donald Trump struck an upbeat tone on progress in talks on Thursday, a new round of U.S. tariffs covering about $156 billion of Chinese imports is set to kick in just over a week away on Dec. 15.
China’s tariff waivers on key U.S. agricultural products is a sign of its commitment to the deal, said an industry source who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“The goal (of this move) is to expand purchases and reassure the United States,” said a Chinese source who advises Beijing on the trade talks…….read more