Published: Sat, September 14, 2019
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

China exempts USA soybeans and pork from tariffs

China exempts USA soybeans and pork from tariffs

American farmers have borne the brunt of the US-China trade spat, especially after US soy exports collapsed last year, virtually wiping out foreign markets farmers had spent years cultivating. He previous spoke that the United States expects China to buy more agricultural products and the President Donald Trump is prepared to keep tariffs in place and raise them if necessary.

"Trump's goodwill gesture suggests that the trade war is starting to bite and the USA may be more eager to close a deal", said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Singapore.

The Commerce Ministry said Thursday importers were asking American suppliers for prices of soybeans and pork.

The tariffs were set to increase to 30% from 25% on the goods. They were the largest by private Chinese importers since Beijing raised import tariffs on the US oilseed by 25% in July 2018 in retaliation for USA duties on Chinese goods.

Despite the goodwill gestures, the two sides remain far apart on fundamental issues, and officials continue to trade barbs.

If Trump thought it was a brilliant idea to ban Chinese technology giant Huawei, it will force China to establish new production, supply and value chains that exclude the US.

Gao said working-level teams from both countries would meet soon to prepare for the next round of top-level talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "I see a lot of analysts are saying an interim deal, meaning we'll do pieces of it, the easy ones first".

However, Chinese companies made their largest daily purchases of United States soybeans since June on Thursday, with 600,000 tonnes set to be shipped from the United States according to sources cited by CNBC.

The discussions come amid growing evidence that the Chinese, U.S. and global economies are feeling the negative effects of the disputes.

Still, some analysts argue the latest gestures by the USA and China have not brought a resolution to their trade row much closer. The world's biggest consumer of pork accounted for about half of global demand previous year, while it produced about 54 million tons, Citigroup said. "But I don't think anything's changed on the fundamentals, and once they get back to the table, they'll discover that". Gao did not confirm the specific date of the talks, although they are widely expected to take place before October 15, leaving room for a further postponement or even cancelling of some of the tariffs, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported.

Beijing in July offered to exempt five private crushers from import tariffs on USA beans arriving by the end of the year, but very few deals took place before buying was suspended.

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