Applications are being prepared by Chinese importers to get waivers from the tariffs that have been imposed by China on over 700 products from the United States as a part of the US-China trade war. The Chinese finance ministry recently announced that it would be accepting such applications for waivers of import tariffs.
A list of goods that could be subject to exemption from import tariffs on a case by case basis was posted last week by China’s Ministry of Finance and includes a range of products from beef and pork, to soybeans, coal and copper scrap.
These waivers would are only applicable to those products that were included in the list of tariffs for $50 billion worth of US products last July as step for China’s retaliation to US tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods imported into the US. Since then, tariffs on thousands of goods have been imposed by Beijing as the trade war between the two largest economies of the world escalated.
“We’re preparing our application, we’ll soon submit our materials,” said Shi Lei, a manager at meat importer Beijing Hopewise told the media. “This is good news for us.”
Amidst growing concerns about the costs to both the countries because of a protraction of the trade war and a slowing Chinese economy, the implementation of a waiver program was announced by Beijing last month.
Some of the other products on the waiver includes tractors, motorcycles, mountain bikes and some pieces of medical equipment.
“The import tariff waiver is a signal that China don’t want to cause bigger conflicts with the U.S., and sends out a message that the country’s opening-up process is still ongoing,” said Nie Wen, an economist at Hwabao Trust.
Chinese importers can apply for waivers from June 3 to July 5. For goods on which tariffs were imposed in September last year on $60 billion of US goods, Chinese authorities would issue another round of waivers. The ministry said that importers can apply for waivers for goods on that list from Sept. 2.
“Applicants must be interested parties in China, including importers, consumers and industrial associations,” the ministry said in a statement and added that there would be retroactive application for some waivers.
Industrial associations were encouraged to represent their members in making applications.
The ministry did not say when waivers would be granted.
Speculations are being made about who could be granted the waivers and basis of applications being approved.
“The policy is mainly targeting firms that have bought and booked U.S. (soybean) shipments earlier during the trade truce, mostly state firms, to alleviate their burden,” a source at a state-owned enterprise was quoted in the Chinese media as saying. “But if you book the shipments from the U.S. now, it is unlikely you will get the waiver. Such opportunist activities will not be supported,” the source reportedly said.
As part of a temporary truce in the trade war between the two largest economies of the world, 14 million tonnes of US soybeans were purchased from December by China.
(Adapted from Money.USNews.com)