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US, China grant trade concessions as fresh talks loom

Donald Trump welcomes China’s decision to exempt some US goods from its tariffs. US announces a short delay to tariff hikes in response

12.9.2019

Donald Trump welcomes China ’s decision to exempt some US goods from its tariffs. US announces a short delay to tariff hikes in response

Stock markets in Asia rose on the news in early Thursday trade, as the concessions came days ahead of a planned meeting aimed at defusing the escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

China’s decision to exempt some US goods was a “big move” by Beijing and a positive gesture before trade negotiators from both countries meet in Washington, Trump told reporters at the White House.

On Wednesday, Trump wrote in a post on Twitter that the United States had agreed to delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 “as a gesture of good will.” The tariffs were set to increase to 30% from 25% on the goods.

Asian stocks rose on Thursday, while China’s yuan currency was also up 0.27 percent in offshore trade, as investors hoped for a thaw in US-China trade frictions.

“The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the US ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy,” ING’s Greater China economist Iris Pang wrote in a note.

Beijing has said it would work on exempting some US products from tariffs if they are not easily substituted from elsewhere. The United States is by far China’s largest supplier of whey, which is an important ingredient in piglet feed and difficult to source in large volumes from elsewhere.

In all, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods in a bitter trade war that has raised the specter of a global recession, with further tariffs slated to take effect in coming months.

ING’s Pang noted the United States had also exempted imports of 110 Chinese products from tariffs in July, including high-value items such as medical equipment and parts.

For two years, the Trump administration has sought to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.

Senior White House adviser Peter Navarro this week urged investors, businesses and the public to be patient about the trade dispute.

Read more: TRT World

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