Government waives tariffs on US shrimp for first time since the trade war began

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Friday, 13 September 2019 15:05

China: The Chinese government issued tariff exemptions for 16 products for

the first time since the start of commercial hostilities between the two countries.

HONG KONG - CNN inform that China has just exempted more than a dozen US products from import tariffs. It is the first time that Beijing has issued such exemptions since the trade war between the United States and China began.

The Chinese government issued tariff exemptions for 16 products, including shrimp, fishmeal and cancer treatment medications.(Maine Lobster is not confirmed yet)

Chinese importers can request a refund of the tariffs already applied to 12 of the products. Four products, including whey, are eligible for exemption, but not for refunds.

Exemptions will begin on September 17 and will last one year.

The move is notable because it is ahead of the next round of face-to-face talks between US and Chinese officials in Washington. But analysts pointed out that the exemption list did not include the main products subject to tariffs, such as soy or meat.

"The Chinese tariffs that really matter are those that apply to agricultural and manufacturing goods in the United States, produced primarily in states with strong support for [President] Donald Trump," said Artur Baluszynski, chief of research at Henderson Rowe. "We just don't see China willing to negotiate on them before the race for the US presidential elections really begins."

Iris Pang, an economist in the Greater China region for ING, added that while exemptions could be seen as a "gesture of sincerity," they are "probably more a means of supporting the economy."

The trade war is weighing on the Chinese economy, which is suffering a great drop in its growth. And tariffs have become more severe lately. The United States has imposed tariffs on Chinese products worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Beijing has counterattacked with its own tariffs that target more than 5,000 US products. Some of them have already entered into force, while others are expected to do so in the coming weeks.

The Tariffs Commission of the State Council of China, which made the announcement on Wednesday, said it will continue to review waiver requests and announce new lists in the future.

Beijing is also looking for other ways to compensate for the effects caused by tariffs, including the diversification of its sources of agricultural imports. On Tuesday, the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture announced that China would allow the import of soy flour from that country. Soy flour is the largest export product in Argentina.

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