China Waives Tariffs on Some US Goods Ahead of Trade Talks — and Trump Responds With ‘Goodwill’ Gesture 

Updated, Sept. 11, 2019, 7:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that “at the request of the vice premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th anniversary on October 1st,” as a “measure of goodwill,” the United States will delay increased tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods to Oct. 15 from Oct. 1. (This batch of tariffs doesn’t involve shoes.)

With days to go until a meeting with United States negotiators in Washington, D.C., China today announced a new batch of tariff exemptions.

Sixteen types of U.S. products will no longer be subject to anti-U.S. levies, among them anti-cancer drugs and lubricants as well as fish meal and animal feed, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance. Chinese importers will be eligible for refunds of duties already imposed on 12 of the 16 products.

The exemptions will start Sept. 17 and last for around one year. Notably, key American exports such as soybeans and meat will still be subject to duties under the new policy.

The next round of face-to-face trade talks will begin at the deputy level in mid-September, with ministers engaging in talks next month. (Exact dates for the trade discussions have not been publicly announced.)

Addressing the lifted duties at the White House today, President Donald Trump said that China had made a “big move.”

“They made a couple of moves…that were pretty good,” he told reporters. “I hope we can do something.”

Since last summer, the U.S. and China have been embroiled in an ongoing trade war, with tariffs tacked onto hundreds of billion of dollars’ worth of products.

The latest batch of tariffs took effect on Sept. 1. The U.S. slapped a 15% levy on $112 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China hit a variety of American products with duties between 5% and 10%.

It marked the first set of the fourth tranche of tariffs, which affects footwear and apparel as well as electronics, toys and other accessories. (More duties will be implemented on Dec. 15, but more than two-thirds of China-made shoes were hit on Sept. 1.)

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