Some US goods’ ex­emp­tion from tar­iffs to ease ten­sion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN JIA chen­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China an­nounced a first group of prod­ucts for ex­clu­sion from the ini­tial round of ad­di­tional tar­iffs on United States im­ports slated to take ef­fect on Tues­day, the Cus­toms Tar­iff Com­mis­sion of the State Coun­cil said in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

In the state­ment, the com­mis­sion un­veiled two tar­iff ex­clu­sion lists of 16 items, in­clud­ing fish meal, raw ma­te­ri­als used in can­cer drugs and some lu­bri­cants.

All items on the two lists will be ex­cluded from ad­di­tional tar­iffs for a year up to Sept 16, 2020. That means the items will not be sub­ject to ad­di­tional tar­iffs im­posed by China on US prod­ucts as coun­ter­mea­sures to US Sec­tion 301 mea­sures.

For the 12 items on the first list, tar­iffs al­ready levied are eligible for refunds. The af­fected en­ter­prises can ap­ply for refunds within the next six months, the state­ment said.

The four items on the sec­ond list can be ex­cluded from tar­iffs but are not eligible for refunds.

The state­ment said the com­mis­sion will con­tinue to work on the ex­clu­sion of ad­di­tional tar­iffs on US prod­ucts, and the lists of the sub­se­quent groups will be re­leased in due course.

Ex­perts said the mea­sure is im­por­tant be­cause it will to some extent ease the im­pact of the Chi­naUS trade dis­pute for en­ter­prises in both coun­tries.

Chen Huaisheng, an ex­pert at the China Cham­ber of In­ter­na­tional Com­merce’s le­gal ser­vices de­part­ment, said the mea­sure will sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of rel­e­vant com­pa­nies and boost their con­fi­dence.

“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,” Chen said.

The mea­sure can also help en­ter­prises to con­trol pro­duc­tion costs, es­pe­cially for some im­porters in the agri­cul­tural and chem­i­cal in­dus­tries, and to sta­bi­lize mar­ket sup­ply of cer­tain prod­ucts, said Tian Zhi­hong, an eco­nomics pro­fes­sor at China Agri­cul­tural Univer­sity.

China de­cided to ini­ti­ate the ex­clu­sion process for ad­di­tional tar­iffs on US prod­ucts on May 13. The first-round ap­pli­ca­tions, from en­ter­prises, busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions and cham­bers of com­merce in China, were ac­cepted from June 3 to July 5, the com­mis­sion said.

The work of ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for ex­clu­sion from the sec­ond round of ad­di­tional tar­iffs on US prod­ucts is on­go­ing, with the dead­line set for Oct 18, it added. The sec­ond round was worth $60 bil­lion, tak­ing ef­fect in Septem­ber 2018, af­ter the US be­gan im­pos­ing ad­di­tional 10-per­cent tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese prod­ucts the same day.

The tar­iff ex­clu­sion process for the third round of ad­di­tional tar­iffs on US im­ports will be launched later at an ap­pro­pri­ate time, ac­cord­ing to the Cus­toms Tar­iff Com­mis­sion.

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