China starts tariff exemptions, but keeps pressure on United States farms

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China has announced some US industrial chemicals will be exempt from tariff hikes imposed in a trade war with Washington but maintained penalties on soybeans, pork and other farm goods.

The measure will enter into force on September 17 and will be valid for one year - until September 16, 2020, BTA informs.

Applications for the second tranche of exclusions started on September 2 and will close on October 18, China's finance ministry said earlier on its website.

"The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the USA ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy", ING's Greater China economist Iris Pang wrote in a note. Punitive duties on soybeans, the biggest USA export to China, and thousands of other imports were left unchanged.

Despite agreeing to Xi's proposal on the phone to deal with Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies Co during the next working-level negotiations, "once the negotiations began, the USA side said that Huawei is not a trade issue but a security issue and did not deal with it", Xi told Abe, pointing out that Trump's remarks proved unreliable.

The exemptions will apply to goods including lubricants, anti-cancer drugs and animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal, Reuters reported. "The time is now to strike a deal that addresses the U.S.' legitimate concerns about market access, forced technology transfer, subsidies and digital trade, while concurrently removing punitive and retaliatory tariffs".

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"There are still many uncertainties in the coming trade talks". That will be applied to the products subject to additional tariffs on US$60 billion of American goods.

Trump has warned China will face a tougher USA negotiating stance if he is reelected.

Beijing has hit back with tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on USA goods.

Last week, the United States slapped China with the first stage of a new round of tariffs that will see almost all Chinese imports taxed. Trump has warned China will face a tougher US negotiating stance if he is re-elected.

But in the statement, the commission said it was also considering further exemptions.

Commerce negotiators have mentioned they'll meet in Washington in early October, elevating hopes that contemporary negotiations may assist ease tensions between the world's two greatest economies.

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