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- China on Thursday announced it would reduce tariffs on thousands of American products.
- The move signaled intentions to implement an interim trade agreement with the US as a costly virus epidemic escalated.
- China said retaliatory tariffs would be reduced on $75 billion worth of US products, including soybeans, oil, and automobiles, beginning February 14.
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China on Thursday announced it would reduce tariffs on thousands of American products, signaling intentions to implement an interim trade agreement with the US as a costly virus epidemic escalated.
Retaliatory tariffs will be reduced on $75 billion worth of US products, including soybeans, oil, and automobiles, beginning February 14, China’s finance ministry said. Some of those imports will face tariffs of 2.5% to 5%, as opposed to the 5% to 10% rates imposed in September and December.
“The next steps depend on the development of the Chinese-US economic and trade situation,” the finance ministry said in a statement. “We hope to work with the United States toward the final elimination of all tariff increases.”
China was widely expected to reciprocate after the Trump administration agreed in January to reduce tariffs on $120 billion worth of its imports as part of a truce in a nearly two-year trade dispute.
The move came as officials grappled with the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that has killed at least 563 people in China and sickened thousands more globally. The rapid spread has brought the second-largest economy to a near standstill, casting doubts on its ability to meet US demands.
Under the phase-one trade agreement, China agreed to tighten its intellectual-property rules and purchase $200 billion worth of US products over two years, ambitious stipulations that experts had questioned.
Tariffs remain on thousands of other products from the US and China, which plan to continue negotiating a broader economic agreement in the coming months.