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China waives tariffs on some US goods for the first time since the beginning of the trade war



The Chinese Government granted tariff exemptions for 16 products, including shrimp, fishmeal and cancer medicines.

Chinese importers can apply for reimbursement of tariffs already charged on 12 of the products. Four products, including whey, are eligible for release but not for refund.

Exemptions will begin on September 17 and will continue for one year.

This move is remarkable as it comes before the next round of face-to-face conversations between US and Chinese officials in Washington. But analysts pointed out that the exemption list does not include basic tariffable goods such as soy or meat.

"The Chinese tariffs that really matter are those for US agricultural and manufacturing commodities produced mainly in the states with strong support for [President] Donald Trump," says Arthur Balushinsky, head of research at Henderson Row. "We just don't see China ready to negotiate for them before the US presidential race really begins."

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

  China is giving up tariffs on Some US goods for the first time since the beginning of the trade war
The trade war is weighing on the Chinese economy, which is experiencing a sharp decline in growth. tariffs have been getting heavier lately agate tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. Beijing has avenged its own tariffs on more than 5,000 US products, some of which have already come into force, while others are expected to take effect in the coming weeks.

The State Council's Tariff Commission, which made the announcement on Wednesday, said it would continue to review the waiver requests and announce new lists in the future.

Beijing also finds other ways to compensate for the pain caused by tariffs, including diversifying its sources of imports into agriculture. On Tuesday, the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture announced that China would allow imports of soybean flour from that country. Soybean meal is Argentina's largest export product.

Farmers in the United States have been particularly hard hit by the trade war. China was their largest market before the outbreak of hostilities, buying most of the world's soybean production.

If China does not resume US soybean purchases this year, then Argentina is able to fill the gap in demand, according to Tian Yaxiong and Shi Lihong, analysts at China Futures, a brokerage firm based in Chongqing.

Argentina is not the only country in South America to which the Chinese soybean industry turns because of the trade war – Chinese farmers have also stepped up imports from their neighbor Brazil.


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