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Lower tariffs for Chinese imports in 2020

From the 1st of January 2020, China will introduce reduced import tariffs covering a wide range of goods from consumer items to food and tech components, highlighting Beijing’s objective of lowering trade barriers and increasing domestic demand.

China’s imports slowed in 2019 amid the worsening economic backdrop resulting in a widening of the trade surplus with the United States of America, these lower tariffs are a mechanism to help China commit to the $200 billion dollar increase in purchases as part of the trade deal with the United States.

On Monday December 23, China State Council Tariff Commission has published a list of 859 types of products which will have the lower tariff rates in the coming year. Products of note on the list include frozen pork (aimed a lessening China’s critical pork shortage due to the African swine fever), frozen avocado (from 30% to 7%) and ferroniobium an iron alloy which is used in High-tech industry.

It appears that the tariffs are not directly correlated with the trade war and instead cover China’s direct needs, but it does seem to support the Chinese governments statements of their intention to further open access to the economy. Along with the introduction of the tariffs on the 1st of January 2020, the new Foreign Investment Law will be promulgated on the same date bringing large changes for future joint ventures in China and a removal of any unequitable forced transfer of technology as a part of these ventures.

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