China to lower im­port tar­iffs on more than 850 goods from Jan

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Bei­jing, China - Bei­jing will lower im­port tar­iffs on more than 850 prod­ucts from next month, the Fi­nance Min­istry said on Mon­day.

Mon­day’s an­nounce­ment said tar­iffs on frozen meat will drop from 12 per cent to 8 per cent from Jan­uary 1.

The move does not ap­pear to be linked to the bruis­ing trade war be­tween China and the US, which has seen Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing ex­chang­ing levies on goods worth hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars, drag­ging on global growth.

How­ever, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump retweeted two press re­ports on the tar­iff re­duc­tion on Mon­day, with­out any ad­di­tional com­ment, and the list in­cludes many items that Chi­nese com­pa­nies pur­chase from the US such as pork and tech goods.

And an­a­lysts said the move was an in­di­ca­tion of China’s de­sire to show it is open­ing up af­ter this month’s mini deal with the US to re­duce some levies and work to­wards a wider pact.

“The move in low­er­ing im­port tar­iffs re­flects that the gov­ern­ment wants to reaf­firm its stance to the world on freer trade amid the trade war,” Gary Ng, an econ­o­mist at Natixis, said. “Do­mes­ti­cally, low­er­ing im­port tar­iffs are help­ful in re­duc­ing busi­ness and con­sumer costs.”

The Tar­iff Com­mis­sion of the State Coun­cil said in a state­ment that the changes will op­ti­mise ‘the trade struc­ture and pro­mote the high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy’.

Levies will also be low­ered on other foods such as fish, cheese and nuts, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, parts for man­u­fac­tur­ing smart­phones and a range of chem­i­cal prod­ucts.

Im­ports of meat reached a record high in Novem­ber in China, Bloomberg News said.

From July 1, China will also fur­ther re­duce tar­iffs on some tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts, the Fi­nance Min­istry said in a state­ment on its web­site. Those goods in­clude print­ers, au­dio recorder parts and pace­mak­ers.

Tar­iffs on cer­tain types of satel­lite TV re­ceivers will fall from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

Goods from coun­tries in­clud­ing New Zealand, Peru, Costa Rica, Switzer­land, Ice­land, Aus­tralia, South Korea, and Pak­istan will also be sub­ject to even lower levies un­der re-ne­go­ti­ated trade agree­ments, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

Last week, China is­sued a list of US chem­i­cals that will be ex­empted from im­port tar­iffs.

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