By Adedapo Adesanya
Following the January 15 signing of Phase One trade deal between the United States and China, the Asian giant has announced slashing tariffs on US imports worth $75 billion by 50 percent with effect from February 14.
The Chinese Ministry of Finance disclosed on Wednesday in a statement that retaliatory tariffs on hundreds of goods from the US will be halved from 10 percent to 5 percent or from 5 percent to 2.5 percent
The decision was carried out in reciprocation for the President Donald Trump administration’s plan, announced last month, to halve tariffs on about $112 billion in Chinese goods.
For over a period of 18 months, the US and China were at loggerheads in what was termed a trade war as President Trump laid taxes on imports and encouraged US companies affected by them to move production and jobs back home. In retaliation China raised tariffs which would also hurt American importers.
However, in December when both countries reached a truce to sign a trade deal which apart from seeing China buy goods from the US, it also promised to provide more protection for American companies’ intellectual property and to stop requiring American companies to share their technology as a cost of doing business.
This cut comes when China is struggling with the mounting cost of measures imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has closed factories, stores and other businesses.
While the tariff cuts point to clear progress in trade partnerships between the US and China, the virus outbreak has cast doubt over just how soon the Phase One deal could help China’s slowing economy.
The latest reports on Friday morning showed that the coronavirus has killed at least 638 people globally according to China’s national health commission with over 31,000 cases.
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