Beijing to cut tariffs on US cars for three months in sign of good faith

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/14 21:05:26

China announced on Friday it will suspend recently-imposed tariffs on US-made autos and components for three months, involving 211 items, reflecting the country's good faith in seeking solutions to the China-US trade spat that should be appreciated by the US government, Chinese experts said.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said in a statement that it will stop imposing tariffs of 25 percent and 5 percent on US-made automobiles and components from January 1 to March 31 in 2019, according to a statement published on the website of the Ministry of Finance on Friday.

China and the US had been imposing tit-for-tat tariffs since April as their trade war escalated. The top leaders of China and the US reached important consensus at G20 in Buenos Aires in Argentina, and the tariff commission made the decision to fulfill the agreement between the two sides, the statement showed.

"China has done its best in playing an active role in finding solutions to trade disputes, and the US should not take it for granted, " Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times.

US automobile-related stocks surged Friday on reports that China will suspend its recently imposed tariffs on US-made cars and parts. Shares of NYSE-listed Ford surged 1 percent in early morning trading.

In spite of recent "hegemonic" acts by the US, including instigating the arrest of China's Huawei senior executive, China is still keeping its promises in trade negotiations, Mei Xinyu, an expert close to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times.

"This is a suspension of tariffs not an end to them. If trade talks yield no concrete results within three months, the tariffs will be back on the table," he said.

US exported $13 billion worth of vehicles to China in 2017, according to the website of the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Exports of US-made cars are part of the US trade agenda. US President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this month that China agreed to lower auto tariffs, as progress was made in trade talks.

The move, if realized, would bolster US carmakers who were hit hard when China ramped up levies on US-made cars in July as part of a broad package of retaliatory tariffs, Reuters reported on December 3.


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