China announced a range of US goods to be exempted from 25-percent extra tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to ease the impact from the trade war without lifting charges on major agricultural items like soybeans and pork.
Pharmaceuticals and lubricant oil are among exclusions to levies on imports announced by the Ministry of Finance on its web site on Wednesday. The exemptions will cover 16 categories of products, ranging from fish food to pesticides, and will be effective from September 17, 2019, to September 16, 2020.
Today’s exemptions apply to the first round of tariffs China imposed on US goods starting last July in retaliation for higher US levies. The Chinese government began accepting applications for tariff exemptions in May, but it is the first time they have stated which products will be excluded. The US Trade Representative’s Office has announced six rounds of exclusions for the punitive tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods since December.
Further rounds of Chinese exemptions will be announced in due course, the ministry said.
Top Chinese negotiators will travel to Washington for talks in the coming weeks, and lower-level officials will also hold discussions this month. Both sides raised tariffs on each other’s goods on September 1 in the trade war’s latest escalation, and the US plans to add more tariffs on October 1. Both nations will increase them again on December 15 unless there is a breakthrough.