Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Beijing, China (4E) – China is again attempting to head-off more damage to its economy due to Trump’s trade war by slashing import tariffs on nearly 1,600 products starting Nov. 1. This will be China’s third round of tariff cuts this year.
U.S. steel products are included in the tariff cuts. It must be remembered that the main reason why Donald Trump launched his trade war against the entire world was to protect the U.S. steel industry.
China will slash import tariffs on metals and textile products, including steel products, to 8.4% from 11.5%. It will also reduce tariffs on wood and paper products. Tariffs on minerals and gemstones will fall to 5.4% from 6.6%, while tariffs on machinery and electrical equipment will also be lowered.
The Ministry of Finance said average import tariffs on nearly 1,600 products — or 19% of all taxable items — will be cut to 7.8% from 10.5%. The coming cuts will lower China’s overall tariff level to 7.5% in 2018 from 9.8% in 2017.
The ministry said reducing tariffs is conducive to promoting the balanced development of foreign trade and promoting a higher level of opening up to the outside world.
This is China’s third tariff cut this year. In May, China made the majority of imported medicines tariff-free. In July, the country reduced import tariffs on a wide range of consumer items including cars, cosmetics, apparel, and home appliances.
In December 2017, China cut tariffs on almost 200 consumer products to 7.7% on average from 17.3%. The affected imports included food, health supplements, pharmaceuticals, garments and recreational goods.
The Nov. 1 tariff cuts will be accomplished in four stages. The first covers 677 products and will see tariffs lowered to 8.4% from 11.5%. These products are steel, textiles, building materials and base metal products. Building materials consist of aluminum doors, windows and related frames.
The second stage covers 386 products and will see tariffs fall to 8.8% from 12.2%. The third will see tariffs slashed to 5.4% from 6.6%. Covered are some 390 products, including wood and paper products, minerals and gemstones,
The fourth includes 122 products associated with trade facilitation. Tariffs will be cut to 8.5% from 12.3%. Combined with the two previous tariff reductions, China’s overall tariff level will fall to 7.5% in 2018 from 9.8% in 2017.
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