China cuts America a break on tariffs after phase one deal

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday unveiled a new list of tariff exemptions for imports from the United States, days after the world’s two largest economies announced a Phase 1 trade deal.

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The tariff waivers will be effective Dec. 26, and will apply for six items, most of them chemical products such as white oil, high-density polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene, polypropylene and food-grade petroleum wax, the Ministry of Finance said.

The exemption will be for one year and end on Dec. 25, 2020, the ministry said, but didn’t provide the value of the import goods excluded from duties.

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Duties already imposed on U.S. products will not be refunded, the ministry added.

China waived import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the Unite States on Dec. 6, before the two sides reached a Phase 1 trade deal to cancel tariffs that were planned to take effect on Dec. 15.

China said it will continue to work on the product exemptions and release the second batch of waiver list at an appropriate time.

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The Sino-U.S. trade war has been a major headache for global policymakers as it slowed economic growth worldwide and chilled business investment and confidence.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week acknowledged there remained hard work ahead in the next phase of negotiations. He gave no specific timetable, but said U.S. President Donald Trump did not want to wait until after the 2020 presidential election to wrap up a more comprehensive agreement.