New tariff exclusion lists set positive tone for future trade talks

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/21 22:28:55 Last Updated: 2019/9/22 9:20:57

Photo: VCG

 The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released three lists on Tuesday that temporarily exempt 437 types of Chinese products from the US imposed tariffs in place since last year. It shows the US has moved one step closer to meeting each other halfway in the Sino-US trade talks. 

The lists are correspondent to the three tariff hikes on Chinese products, which were worth $34 billion, $16 billion and $200 billion respectively. And based on the USTR's website, there will be one more exclusion list concerning $300 billion of Chinese products to be announced soon. Pet products, Christmas tree lights and single-speed bicycles are among the 400 or so items.

Due to the different classification methods of products between China and the US, the value of exempted products is still difficult to estimate. The types of goods were selected from more than 1,100 exclusion requests submitted by US entities, according to CNBC.

The lists radiate a positive signal to the Chinese side. "The lists released around the time when the deputy-ministerial level trade talks were held in Washington, and considering all kinds of signs of positive interaction between China and the US recently, it is no doubt a token of goodwill," cited an article published on the People's Daily on Saturday.

The trade talks led by Vice Finance Minister Liao Min and his US counterparts in USTR in Washington on Thursday and Friday, which broke the two-month deadlock, also ended on a good note. According to the Xinhua News Agency, both the Chinese and the US delegates conducted "constructive" negotiations. Both sides also discussed the arrangement of the upcoming 13th round of trade talks that will involve top trade negotiators in October.  

There are many issues need to be addressed through negotiations. Agricultural product purchase is one of the topics that draw much attention, especially from the US perspective. Earlier there were media reports that a group of Chinese officials led by Han Jun, vice minister for agriculture and rural affairs, would visit US farming states. However, the trip to Nebraska and Montana, two key US agricultural states, was reportedly called off on Friday. 

At the same time, both sides have shown prudent attitude as the trade talks proceed. US President Donald Trump said the trade talk is making progress, but meanwhile he is looking for a "complete deal" rather than a "partial deal," during the joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the latter's week-long state visit to the US. Trump also added that he "doesn't need it [the trade deal] before the election." 

The People's Daily article, while appraising the US move of exemption on certain Chinese products, also mentioned there is a long way to truly settle problems, though positive voices about the China-US trade talks are on the rise than before. 

Countries like Australia also expects a good outcome from the China-US trade talks. Morrison in the same press conference stressed Australia's high hope for a trade deal, saying that "Australia has benefitted greatly from the economic growth of China." He also emphasized that China and Australia share a comprehensive strategic partnership and established a free trade agreement. 

"We look forward to them achieving it [the trade deal]," Morrison said. 

Global Times

Posted in: ECONOMY

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