Trump delays 5% tariff hike on Chinese imports

Washington, Sep 12 (IANS) US President Donald Trump announced that his administration was postponing a planned 5 per cent tariff hike on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods by two weeks as a gesture of goodwill toward Beijing on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that the hike from 25 to 30 per cent in duties on certain Chinese imports would take effect on October 15 instead of October 1, as had been previously scheduled, Efe news reported.
“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 on October 1, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will, to move the increased Tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods (25 per cent to 30 per cent), from October 1 to October 15,” the President tweeted.
The development comes after China’s Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council on Wednesday postponed the planned 25 per cent tariffs on 16 American products, which were to come into effect on Tuesday, by a year.
These tariffs will now take effect on September 16, 2020, and affects items including fishmeal, some lubricants and raw materials used in cancer drugs.
Reacting to Beijing’s move, Chinese state-run daily Global Times said that for China, “granting tariff exemptions on US goods is an innovation of the tariff system” and added that the measure “will benefit some companies from China and the US”.
Following the development, global stocks were mostly on the rise. On Thursday, China’s Shanghai Composite Index (closed up 0.8 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei also ended 0.8 per cent higher.
The delay of tariffs come as the two sides prepare to hold their 13th round of talks aimed at resolving their long-running trade dispute, the BBC reported.
Preliminary meetings are set to take place later this month in Washington before US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer meet China’s Liu in October.
On September 1, the latest episode in the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers saw the US implement a 5 per cent tariff increase from 10 to 15 per cent on Chinese imports worth $112 billion.
Also, Washington is set to raise to 15 per cent the duties on the remaining goods from China that are still taxed at 10 per cent, reaching $300 billion worth of Chinese products in total, on December 15.
In reaction to the US’ move, China slapped its own tariffs of between 5 and 10 per cent on American products valued at $75 billion.

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