Beijing said Thursday that it would halve some tariffs on U.S. goods as part of its “phase one” trade deal with the U.S., cutting some to 5% and others to 2.5%.
It was unclear how much trade in U.S. goods was covered by the reduction, though the tariffs were part of a $75 billion block of U.S. goods that Beijing had targeted for retaliation during last year's trade war.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement that the reductions were meant to “alleviate economic and trade frictions and expand economic and trade cooperation” between the two countries. It said it wanted to work towards the “ultimate elimination of all increased tariffs.”
The move comes as China's economy is being battered by the coronavirus outbreak and Beijing was moving to soothe concerns in international markets.
The Trump administration and Beijing signed “phase one” of a trade deal earlier this month addressing such issues as currency manipulation, online piracy, and intellectual property theft, and obligating China to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods and services, over the next two years.
In exchange the administration reduced some tariffs on Chinese goods, held off on imposing new tariffs and removed China from the list of countries that manipulate their currency. It nevertheless has maintained 7.5% tariffs on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods and 25% tariffs on another $250 billion worth of products.
China has tariffs of up to 25% on $185 billion worth of U.S. goods.
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