China Starts Tariff Exemptions, Keeps Pressure on U.S. Farms

China’s Xi ‘Can’t Believe What Trump Says’ Regarding Trade War

"I can't believe what President Trump says" concerning trade negotiations, Xi was quoted as telling Abe during a meeting on the fringe of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka.

The exemptions will become effective on September 17 and be valid for a year, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, which released 2 lists that include seafood products and anti-cancer drugs.

Other categories that will become exempt include alfalfa pellets, fish feed, medical linear accelerators and mould release agents.

Today's exemptions apply to the round of tariffs China imposed on USA goods starting last July in retaliation for higher US levies.

The lists mark the primary time Beijing has introduced merchandise to be excluded from tariffs.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai's annual China Business Report also found that 75 percent of United States firms opposed the USA use of punitive tariffs to force China into a trade deal and market-access reforms.

Chinese stocks edged down and the yuan pared earlier gains after the announcement.

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American businesses are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects in China as the United States trade war rumbles on, with growing numbers of companies expecting their revenues and investment in the local market to shrink, a survey said on Wednesday.

The items in the two lists posted on the ministry's website will not be subject to the additional duties imposed by China on US goods "as countermeasures to measures under section 301 of the US Commerce Act", the Chinese agency said.

"There are still many uncertainties in the coming trade talks", she said.

President Trump, who has threatened to raise those tariffs to 30%, has long held that trade wars "are easy to win" but talks with Beijing have proved more complicated than he anticipated. Both nations will increase some of them again on December 15 unless there is a breakthrough.

Significant US exports to China, like pork, soybeans and American-made cars, are among the goods that will still be hit by the hefty taxes.

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. Tariffs already imposed on these items are deemed non-refundable.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said just 47 percent said they expected to increase their investments in China in 2019 - down from 62 percent past year - while three-quarters of businesses surveyed said they opposed the use of punitive tariffs by the United States to force China into a trade deal.

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