• Alexander Liu-Middleton

Donald Trump takes away tariffs on hundreds of Chinese goods

Donald Trump takes away tariffs on hundreds of Chinese goods

American President Donald Trump temporarily removed tariffs on more than 4four hundred Chinese goods that he imposed in 2018, softening his stance in the trade conflict ahead of next month's discussions.

The judgement helped sustain stock markets looking for light at the end of the tunnel as the trade war drags into its second year.

With elevated consultations due to restart in Washington early next month, Mr Trump's decision marked the third time since August that the USA has delayed or removed tariffs on Chinese imports ahead of the year-end shopping period.

Earlier, Mr Trump had announced a two-week delay in a new round of duties increases on Chinese products that had been due to take effect on Oct 1.

According to Federal Register notices published Friday, hundreds of goods that had been subject to three waves of charges imposed last year will be exempt from those additional duties for a year, in response to requests from US businesses which argued that the tariffs would cause economic difficulties.

The 437 exempted goods cover a wide-range of uses and applications and include steel girders, electronics, such as data processors used by manufacturers, as well as pumps, filters, forklifts, mechanical equipment, laminated wood flooring, miniature Christmas lights and pet supplies.

Experts in Beijing said the new tariff exemptions were a wanted sign, but the trade talks remain on a delicate footing. The exemptions are "seen as a goodwill signal by China," Hu Xijin, editor of the state-run tabloid Global Times, said on Twitter. "Interaction of goodwill between China and the US is still fragile."

The trade war has weighed on the global economy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this week slashed growth forecasts due to the conflict.

Although slowing, the US economy has so far been more robust, with a recent batch of economic data showing unexpected strength in important areas.

The Federal Reserve this week cut interest rates for the second time in 2019, moving to counter the danger posed by the trade war, which has damaged the US manufacturing and agricultural areas.

After last month's worsening in trade relations, US duties on the majority of Chinese imports are due to rise in stages through the end of 2019.

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