The exemption will take effect on September 17 and will be valid for a year through to September 16, 2020. -China trade dispute, a source close to the matter said Tuesday. Face-to-face negotiations between top officials will be restarted in early October.
"China trade tensions is exerting significant downward pressure on both economies", chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant said in a statement. Moreover, major US imports, such as soybeans and pork, are still subject to hefty additional duties, as China ramped up imports from Brazil and other supplying countries.
A list of 16 items including lubricants, fish meal for animal feed and some other chemicals will be exempt from penalties of up to 25% imposed in response to Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese products, the Ministry of Finance said.
The exemptions will apply to US goods including some anti-cancer drugs and lubricants, as well as the animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
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"These adjustments signal that China is more willing to make progress in the October trade talks, likely toward striking a "narrow" agreement that involves China buying more USA goods in exchange for the United States suspending further tariff hikes", Barclays analysts said in a research note.
China has raised duties on about $120 billion of USA products, economists estimate.
Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese products, or nearly everything the United States buys from China.
Both sides raised tariffs on each others' goods on September 1 in the trade war's latest escalation, and the US plans to add more tariffs on October 1. Trump has warned China will face a tougher USA negotiating stance if he is re-elected.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Xi had a telephone conference with Trump on June 18, during which he expressed China's hope that "the USA side can treat Chinese firms in a fair manner".
Goods on the second list won't be eligible for tariff refunds, the Chinese Finance Ministry said.