BEIJING – China’s Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has postponed the planned 25 percent tariffs on 16 products from the United States by a year.
The tariffs, which were scheduled to come into force on Tuesday, will now take effect on Sept. 16, 2020, and affects items including fishmeal, some lubricants and raw materials used in cancer drugs, the commission said in a statement issued Wednesday.
However, soybeans, pork and automobile imports will still be hit by tariffs.
The commission said it will continue to work on the exclusion of additional tariffs on US products and release the list of the excluded items in due course.
Chinese state-run daily Global Times said that for China, “granting tariff exemptions on US goods is an innovation of the tariff system” and added that the measure “will benefit some companies from China and the US.”
China Chamber of International Commerce legal services department expert Chen Huaisheng said that the decision will reduce the impact of the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington on Chinese companies.
“We have heard opinions and feedback from the corporate sector, and they expect the exclusion will reduce a potential negative impact from the additional US tariffs,” said Chen, according to official newspaper China Daily.
Beijing’s decision had an immediate response from Washington, which announced Wednesday that it will postpone the planned 5 percent tariff increase on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods by two weeks to Oct. 15 as a gesture of goodwill towards Beijing on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s republic.
“At the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will, to move the increased Tariffs on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods (25 percent to 30 percent), from October 1st to October 15th,” US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
By mid-October, the US and China will have held their 13th round of trade negotiations.
On Sept. 1, the latest episode in the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers saw the US implement a 5 percent tariff increase – from 10 to 15 percent – on Chinese imports worth $112 billion.
Washington is set to raise to 15 percent the duties on the remaining goods from China that are still taxed at 10 percent, reaching $300 billion worth of Chinese products in total, on Dec. 15.
The US president’s objective has long been to even out the trade balance between the world’s two largest economies – in which China has had the upper hand for many years – but his tariff increases have had little to no effect so far in this regard.
The geopolitical rivals’ ongoing dispute is creating global consequences that go far beyond their bilateral relations.
In July, the International Monetary Fund revised its latest forecast on global economic growth for the year downwards to 3.2 percent, 0.1 percent lower that it had predicted in April, due to the global economic ripples generated by the trade war.