China suspends tariffs on U.S. goods after trade agreement

Photo: White House

Dec. 15 (UPI) — China on Sunday announced it would not implements additional tariffs on some U.S. good after a Phase 1 trade deal between the two economic powers Friday.

The Chinese State Council’s Customs Tariff Commission said it would suspend added tariffs of 5 percent and 10 percent on products on corn and U.S. made cars and auto parts that were scheduled to take effect at 12:01 p.m. Sunday, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. In addition, U.S. cars and car parts would continue to be exempted from existing duties.

“The Chinese side hopes that the two sides will work together on the basis of equality and mutual respect to properly address each other’s core concerns and promote the stable development of Sino-U.S., economic and trade relations,” the agency said.

On Friday, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said the agreement will lift tariffs on $360 billion in goods sent to the United States on a “phase by phase” basis.

The two nations announced the “historic and enforceable” phase 1 trade deal, which includes commitments by the Chinese to buy U.S. farm goods and other products.

The United States agreed to reduce reduce economic penalties on $120 billion worth of goods that were imposed in September by half to 7.5 percent and halt plans for new tariffs on $100 billion worth of Chinese products.

But Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday, said the United States for now would leave in place 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In addition, the phase one deal includes structural and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump wrote it was “an amazing deal for all.”

“We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election,” he added.

On Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the deal is good for the global economy.

“For a very long time the U.S. was open to China, China was not open to the U.S,” he said at the Doha Forum in Qatar. “There were very strong restrictions and for the first- and second-largest economies in the world, there should be more trading back and forth and that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Yu Chunhai, deputy dean of Renmin University of China’s school of economics, said the two sides focused on where to find a consensus.

“Such an approach helped cement the current deal. It’s a good start,” he told the South China Morning Post.

But he cautioned once bigger issues are tackled, negotiation will “become more difficult, and frictions could resurface.”


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