China’s finance ministry has announced that it would lower or nix import tariffs on a range of products to “optimize” the country’s trade structure and spur economic development. The new rules start coming into effect next month.
The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced the changes to Beijing’s tariff policy on Monday, releasing a plan “to adjust” import tariffs on some of the commodities.
The list includes over 850 products, such as frozen pork and frozen avocado, for which the import tariffs will be lowered from January 1, 2020.
The soon-to-be reduced tariffs would be lower than most-favored nation (MFN) tax rates, with the commission saying that it hopes to boost “high-quality economic development” with the move.
The ministry said that it will also axe import taxes on a number of information technology products, staring July 1, 2020.
It’s unclear if the revised tariff policy is in any way connected to the tentative “phase one” trade deal reached between Beijing and Washington earlier this month, which is expected to be formally signed by the parties in January.
The deal, dubbed by the US “a historic and enforceable agreement,” would see China boosting purchases of American products to up to $200 billion over the next two years, including the US farm products. The push for China to buy more agricultural products from the US has taken center stage in the bitter trade row that has been dragging on for almost two years.
Speaking at a campaign event on Saturday, Trump hailed the “breakthrough” achieved in the recent round of the US-China talks, noting that the deal will be signed “very shortly” and commending the Chinese President Xi Jinping government “for buying billions and billions of agriculatural products” from the US.