China cuts tariffs on $75B of US imports in trade truce

February 06, 2020 - 1:55 am

BEIJING (AP) — China cut tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports including auto parts on Thursday in response to American reductions as part of their truce in a trade war.

The cuts come as China struggles with the mounting cost of measures imposed to contain a virus outbreak that has closed factories, stores and other businesses.

The reductions apply to tariffs imposed Sept. 1 as the two sides were ratcheting up their dispute over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus, the Ministry of Finance said. It said two groups of tariffs would be reduced by half, from 15% to 7.5% and from 10% to 5%.

The Trump administration announced similar reductions last month. Washington hiked tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018 in response to Beijing's multibillion-dollar trade surplus and complaints it steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. China retaliated with its own increased duties on American goods.

Both sides have announced conciliatory steps since agreeing in October to a “Phase 1” deal under which Washington canceled planned additional tariff hikes and Beijing committed to buy more U.S. farm exports.

However, most tariff hikes imposed previously by both sides on billions of dollars of each other's good are still in place.

“The next steps depend on the development of the Chinese-U.S. economic and trade situation,” said a Ministry of Finance statement. “We hope to work with the United States toward the final elimination of all tariff increases.”

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