Wed. Jun 23rd, 2021

China said it would extend tariff exemptions on goods from the United States and Canada, which will help ease trade tensions between two of the world’s largest economies.

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The Customs Tariff Commission of China’s State Council said 79 U.S. products are to be exempt from additional tariffs. The tariffs would be the second round of taxes China would have applied to U.S. goods, Chinese network CGTN reported.

The exemptions apply to U.S. commodities, including rare earths, gold and silver and they are in effect until Dec. 25, 2021, the Commission said, according to Xinhua news agency.

The move comes only months after China’s finance ministry said it would extend tariff exemptions for 65 imported commodities from the United States, including aircraft components. The exemptions disclosed in February would be in effect until Sept. 16, 2021.

The Biden administration has kept most Trump-era tariffs targeting Chinese imports in place, but the United States has demonstrated flexibility amid Covid-19.

In March, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it would extend tariff exclusions on close to 100 categories of medical products, including masks, gloves and blood pressure cuffs, ahead of a Trump-era tariff expiration March 31.

“In light of the continuing efforts to combat Covid-19, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined that it is inappropriate to allow the exclusions for certain products to lapse,” said a statement from General Counsel Greta Peisch.

“The U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to extend the 99 product exclusions takes into account public comments previously provided, and the advice of advisory committees the interagency Section 301 Committee,” she added.

President Donald Trump’s administration imposed the tariffs in 2019 during a trade war with Beijing.

Last year in May China’s finance ministry listed 79 U.S. products are eligible for waivers from tariffs. They included the commodities exempted this year, including rare earth metals, gold ores and silver ores.

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