Tariff break to relieve burden for domestic companies: experts

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/19 20:33:40

A view of the Lianyungang port, East China's Jiangsu province on May 8. Photo: IC

The government wants to carry out precision strikes in its tariff battles with the US by helping domestic companies reduce their tax burdens, experts said on Sunday. 

On Monday, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, the cabinet, said in a statement that domestic companies can apply for some of their imported products from the US to be removed from China's tariff increase list. 

The products are on a list of about $50 billion in US goods on which China imposed a 25 percent tax in June 2018, including products like frozen beef and whiskey, as well as about $60 billion in products on which China increased tariffs in August 2018, including honey and flowers. 

According to the statement, the department will announce the detailed tax exclusion list later. 

Once on the list, the products will not be subject to China's tariff increases as a countermeasure to the US Section 301 Investigation. The government will also refund any increased tariffs that were paid for some of those products, according to the statement. 

Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday that the government is trying to reduce the cost of countermeasures on Chinese firms in the trade dispute with the US. 

"China wants to let US companies feel pressured. But at the same time, it wants to see that domestic companies don't have excessive burdens because of the tariff battle," Bai told the Global Times. 

Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, said that the government does not want the tariff increase to be a one-size-fits-all scenario. 

Cong forecast that the government will first and foremost help industries that have large losses because of the tariff increases and those that find it hard to find alternative import sources.

The statement said all the interested parties such as Chinese importers and industry associations can apply for such tariff exclusions. The government particularly encourages the latter to make the applications on behalf of their members. 

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