China, United States grant trade concessions as fresh talks loom

Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed China’s decision to exempt some U.S. anti-cancer drugs and other goods from its tariffs and announced a short delay to scheduled tariff hikes on billions worth of Chinese goods. China’s decision to exempt some U.S. goods was a “big move” by Beijing and a positive gesture before trade negotiators from both countries meet in Washington, Trump told reporters at the White House.

China on Wednesday announced its first batch of tariff exemptions for 16 types of U.S. products, including some anti-cancer drugs and lubricants, as well as animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal, according to a Ministry of Finance statement on its website.

On Wednesday, Trump wrote in a post on Twitter that the United States had agreed to delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 “as a gesture of good will.” The tariffs were set to increase to 30% from 25% on the goods. Trump said he hoped to reach a trade agreement with China following more than a year of tit-for-tat exchanges of tariffs that have roiled global markets.

Deputy trade negotiators are due to meet in Washington in mid-September, with minister-level talks to follow in October. Exact dates for the meetings have not been released. The gestures may ease tensions ahead of the negotiations, but some analysts don’t see it as a signal that both sides are readying a deal.

“The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the U.S. 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. “There are still many uncertainties in the coming trade talks. An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China’s stance,” she said.