China extends tariff exemptions on some US goods in 'reciprocal' move
Published: Nov 28, 2022 07:39 PM Updated: Nov 28, 2022 07:35 PM
tariff Photo:VCG


China will extend tariff exemptions for six months on some US goods subject to countermeasures against US Section 301 measures, according to an official announcement on Monday, in what analysts call a standard and reciprocal move after the US also announced similar exemptions.

Days after the US announced a tariff exemption extension on some Chinese goods, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced an extension of tariff exemptions on the ninth batch of US goods from December 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, read a statement on the website of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

According to a product list published by the MOF, the tariff exemptions are being extended on timber, agricultural products, lubricating oil, machine tools, forging machines, laser products and healthcare products.

On Thursday, the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced tariff exemption extensions for an additional three months for 81 Chinese healthcare products, including blood pressure monitors and X-ray tables, in order to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by the USTR.

China and the US are waiving tariffs on some products that are urgently needed from the other side, Hu Qimu, deputy secretary general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Monday.

"The trade attitude and policies of the US toward China are unstable and change often. I believe that as long as the US offers to stop imposing additional tariffs on China, China will in return stop imposing additional tariffs on the US. But the US always goes back and forth," said Hu.

What China shows is its reciprocal countermeasures against the US, Hu noted. "If you sanction me, I will definitely sanction you back. If the US relaxes its policies, China will do the same."

Since September 2019, China has extended several exemptions for US goods subject to retaliatory tariffs, following extensions by the US of tariff exemptions.

The US-initiated additional tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect in July 2018 as part of former US president Donald Trump's tariff war against China.

But China-US trade increased by 8.3 percent on a yearly basis in 2020 and expanded by 28.7 percent in 2021. In the first 10 months of 2022, trade between China and the US rose 5.1 percent year-on-year to $639.83 billion.

Meanwhile, US companies have not stopped investment in China even after the US launched a trade war. Cargill announced increased investment in China. ExxonMobil began construction of a major petrochemical project in Huizhou, South China's Guangdong Province, which is the first major petrochemical project wholly owned by a US company in China.

The trade figures and investment decisions show that economic and trade ties between the world's two biggest economies are impossible to halt, analysts said, noting that the next step is to find a specific path to solve problems based on the understanding that decoupling cannot be achieved.

China-US economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in nature. Starting a trade war or a technology war, building walls and barriers, or pushing for decoupling and severing supply chains run counter to the principles of the market economy and undermine international trade rules, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said last week.

The USTR also said in the Thursday statement that it "may continue to consider further extensions and/or additional modifications as appropriate."

Global Times

Infographic:Tally of US tariff war: loss outweighs gain Infographic: GT

Infographic:Tally of US tariff war: loss outweighs gain Infographic: GT