China exempts 16 American products from additional tariffs

China exempts 16 American products from additional tariffs

China has suspended tariffs on certain United States imports ahead of crucial trade talks but economists warned the olive branch to Washington could be to relieve the pressure on its stalling economy.

The latest exemptions include 25 percent tariffs on pharmaceuticals and pesticides, but levies on other major agricultural items such as soybeans and pork have not been lifted.

"I can't believe what President Trump says" concerning trade negotiations, Xi was quoted as telling Abe during a meeting on the fringe of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka.

President Donald Trump on Friday said the weight of the protracted trade war is damaging China more than the US.

The exempted list from China pales in comparison with over 5,000 types of United States products that are already subject to China's additional tariffs.

"Chinese tariffs that really matter are the ones on USA agricultural and manufacturing goods, produced mainly in states with strong support for [President] Donald Trump", Artur Baluszynski, head of research at Henderson Rowe, told CNN Business. Moreover, major USA imports, such as soybeans and pork, are still subject to hefty additional duties, as China has ramped up imports from Brazil and other supplying countries.

Our house view is that the two countries are unlikely to reach a deal this year.

In all, the world's two largest economies have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods in a bitter trade war that has dragged on for well over a year and raised the spectre of a global recession.

Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese imports, or nearly everything the United States buys from China.

The Trump administration at the first of September imposed 15 percent tariffs on $115 billion worth of Chinese goods and will launch another round of penalties on December 15. Some have been hit with increases a couple of times, while about $50 billion of USA goods is unaffected, possibly to avoid disrupting Chinese industries.

In their latest escalation, Washington imposed 15% tariffs on $112 billion of Chinese products on September 1 and is planning to hit another $160 billion December 15.

The products include whey and fishmeal used for animal nutrition, and some lubricants, Reuters said, citing a statement from the Chinese Treasury. The rest of the 15% tariffs applying to this tranche of goods will take effect on December 15.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Xi had a telephone conference with Trump on June 18, during which he expressed China's hope that "the US side can treat Chinese firms in a fair manner". Trump has warned China will face a tougher USA negotiating stance if he is re-elected.

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