Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

China to exempt tariffs on 696 U.S. goods to support exports

China to exempt tariffs on 696 U.S. goods to support exports

Patient monitors, blood transfusion equipment and instruments to measure blood pressure are among the products that qualify for the exemptions, according to a list released by the Tariff Commission of the State Council.

China and the USA expect to further reduce import tariffs on each other's products when they begin negotiating "phase two" of the trade agreement in the coming months.

The exemptions, the third and the most substantial set to be granted to date by China since the start of the trade dispute with the United States, come a month after the signing of a Phase 1 trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

China has agreed to boost its purchases of US goods and services over the next two years by at least $200 billion, including $32 billion on agriculture alone, in a move that is expected to help the United States reduce its trade deficit with the Asian country.

Starting from March 2, China's tax authority will accept applications of domestic firms for the exemption of additional tariffs imposed on some USA products within a certain period of time, the commission said in a statement.

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The coronavirus epidemic that emerged late previous year in China has raised concerns about its ability to fulfill the purchasing targets.

U.S. products for tariff exemption applications include LNG, crude oil.

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

The containment efforts have kept factories closed or operating with drastically reduced staff, affecting production. The public has also been discouraged from leaving their homes or going to public places, stunting consumption. Pharmaceutical products such as recombinant human insulin and some antibiotics are also among USA products eligible for tariff exemptions. Meanwhile the United States is increasing tariffs on Airbus planes imported from Europe to 15 per cent beginning March 18, authorities announced.

The move comes just days after the Phase 1 trade deal took effect on February 14.

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