Donald Trump praises China's tariff exemptions as trade talks approach

12 Septembre, 2019, 14:32 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks with Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant during a meeting with a group of U.S. entrepreneurs at Zhongnanhai in Beijing China Sept. 10 2019

US President Donald Trump will delay a planned tariff hike on $250bn (£202.8bn) of Chinese goods as a "gesture of good will".

President Trump said on Wednesday that he had delayed his proposed increased tariffs on United States dollars 250 billion worth of Chinese goods from October 1 to October 15.

Trump said the postponement came "at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People's Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary".

China on Wednesday announced its first batch of tariff exemptions for 16 types of U.S. products, including some anti-cancer drugs and lubricants, as well as animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal, according to a Ministry of Finance statement on its website.

The exemption will take effect on September 17, the ministry said in a statement.

China said on Thursday that Chinese companies have started to inquire about prices for US agricultural goods purchases, in a further sign of a potential de-escalation in a bitter trade war between the two countries.

The world's two largest economies imposed fresh tariffs on each other's goods in September, escalating a tit-for-tat trade war that has been blamed for a worldwide economic slowdown.

China Vice Premier Lui He and President Donald Trump

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said just 47 percent said they expected to increase their investments in China in 2019 - down from 62 per cent previous year - while three-quarters of businesses surveyed said they opposed the use of punitive tariffs by the United States to force China into a trade deal.

Significant US exports to China, like pork, soybeans and American-made cars, are among the goods that will still be hit by the hefty taxes.

Against that backdrop, both sides are preparing to return to the negotiating table.

The move comes before a planned meeting in early October between top US and Chinese trade negotiators in Washington aimed at easing the protracted trade conflict that has disrupted global supply chains and rattled financial markets.

Trump kicked off the trade war in June last year, demanding China to reduce massive trade deficit which last year climbed to over Dollars 539 billion. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office has announced six rounds of exclusions for the punitive tariffs on US$34 billion in Chinese goods since December. The data shows that tariffs cost American business and consumers $6.8 billion in July, the highest monthly total in US history.

Since a year ago, the two countries have traded tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

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