Beijing cuts import tariffs for Asian countries amid trade tensions with the US
Posted on June 27th, 2018

by Chi Dehua Courtesy GB Times

China has decided to lower duties for certain imports from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos and Sri Lanka as a trade war with the US looms.

According to a detailed list released by China’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Tuesday, starting from July 1, the five Asian nations will enjoy various levels of tariff cuts on chemicals, agricultural products, sea food, medical supplies, clothing as well as steel and aluminium products.

Notably, the tariffs of soybeans will be cut directly to zero from the previous three percent while US soybean shipments are to be subject to a 25 percent tariff announced on June 16.

Statistics show that China represents roughly 60 percent of the world’s total soybean trade and one third of Chinese soybean imports come from the US, according to Xinhua.

However, the Nikkei Asian Reviewclaims the move may have a limited effect.

The MOF stated that the move has echoed a tariff-reduction deal reached among the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement members, including China and the aforementioned five countries,in 2017.

Under the Asia-Pacific deal, member countries agreed to slash import duties on more than 10,000 items by a third on average.

Beijing has decided to put the agreement into effect next week, five days before the Trump administration will impose 25 percent tariffs on US$34bnworth of Chinese goods, in the hope to rally support to fight trade protectionism”, the South China Morning Post commented.

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