The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs."
The Customs Tariff Commission of China's State Council has unveiled its initial set of lists of U.S. products to be excluded from the first round of the additional tariffs that will be effective from September 17, 2019 to September 16, 2020.
This is the first time that China has released a tariff exemption list since the United States began escalating the economic and trade frictions between the two countries. The exemptions will help to minimize the impact of the trade dispute on related import enterprises in China, and reflect Beijing's determination to deal with the dispute in a way that protects the public interest.
[File Photo: VCG]
Over the past year or so, in response to Washington's escalating unilateralism and protectionist practices, China has introduced three rounds of countermeasures in order to defend the country's core interests and safeguard its legitimate right to development. These countermeasures are expected to have negative impacts on some enterprises in China, but Beijing is doing its utmost to limit these impacts while at the same time respond firmly to bullying by the United States.
In recent months, China's government has reviewed applications from companies seeking exemptions from additional tariffs on goods from the United States. According to the Customs Tariff Commission, two lists of 16 items will be excluded from the first round of tariff countermeasures. Exclusions were considered in instances where it is difficult for an enterprise to find a supplier in another country, the tariffs would have a significant adverse economic impact on an enterprise, or the tariffs would have a negative structural impact on related industries.
Nearly 300 valid applications seeking tariff exemptions have been approved, accounting for around one-third of the total number of applications. Affected companies that are eligible for tax refunds will also be allowed to apply for refunds of collected duties.
The Customs Tariff Commission says it will continue to work on the exemption process and release subsequent lists in due course.
The 13th round of trade talks between China and the United States is due to start in Washington D.C. early next month. Companies in both China and the United States are expecting both sides to make a concerted effort to strive for substantive progress to be made in this round of negotiations. Hopefully, they won't be disappointed. But regardless of the outcome of the talks, China will continue to use all of the policy tools at its disposal to reduce the impact of the trade frictions on enterprises, and respond to any challenges that lie ahead.