BEIJING: China is planning to reduce import duties on consumer goods ranging from food to cosmetics, a source said.
The tariff cuts, which would be effective as early as July 1, would apply to significantly more product lines than a similar reduction on around 200 items announced last year, said the source, who asked not to be identified as the discussions aren’t public.
This week, Beijing announced the reduction of tariffs on car imports to 15% from 25%, also effective as of July 1.
Policy makers including President Xi Jinping have flagged their intention to open the nation’s vast internal market further to outsiders, a shift that may now have the side effect of helping to defuse tensions with the Trump administration over the trade imbalance.Negotiations in Washington last week ended with China agreeing to buy more imports from the US, averting for now the imposition of US tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese products.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to visit Beijing in early June for a further round of meetings aimed at fleshing out that deal.
The consumer-goods cuts will affect food, medicine, health products, and cosmetics, among other items, the source said.
The exact composition of the cuts hasn’t yet been finalised and is still subject to approval by the State Council, China’s cabinet.
The Ministry of Finance didn’t immediately respond yesterday to a fax seeking comment on the measures.
In November, tariff cuts announced on 187 categories of consumer goods boosted shares of companies including Nestle SA and Danone.
That step followed Xi’s call at the October Communist Party conclave to meet citizens’ demands for improved living standards and better quality products. — Bloomberg