China waives tariffs on some US goods ahead of trade talks

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China on Wednesday announced that it is waiving tariffs on 16 types of U.S. products ahead of trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington.

The tariff exemptions apply to various U.S. goods including some anti-cancer drugs, and whey and fish meal, which are used in animal feed, China’s Ministry of Finance announced, according to Reuters.

{mosads}The tariff exemptions reportedly mark the first time Beijing has made such a move since the trade war with the United States began. The exemptions will go into effect Sept. 17, just a few weeks before negotiators from the two countries are scheduled to meet face-to-face in Washington.

Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, noted that the exemptions do not mean a deal between the two sides is imminent, according to Reuters.

“The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity toward the U.S. ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy,” she wrote. “There are still many uncertainties in the coming trade talks. An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China’s stance.”

Pang also reportedly pointed out that the U.S. in July exempted tariffs from 110 Chinese products, including some medical equipment.

There are still more than 5,000 types of U.S. products subject to Chinese tariffs, with major U.S. imports like soybeans and pork still being hit by additional tariffs, according to Reuters.

China has looked elsewhere for its soybean imports, notably Brazil, and recently struck a deal with Argentina, it added.

The back-and-forth trade war between the two countries has resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods being slapped with tariffs as the dispute between the world’s two largest economies has extended for more than a year.

President Trump has argued the trade war is hurting China and costing the country businesses, jobs and money, asserting that it will get worse if Beijing does not compromise in trade negotiations.

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