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China extends tariff exemptions on 81 products from U.S.

China will extend tariff exemptions for 81 products imported from the United States by seven months, the finance ministry said in a statement published on Thursday.

China has routinely made such extensions as part of an initial agreement to end a bruising trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

The items had received exemptions from retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. goods as countermeasures to U.S. Section 301 action, the ministry said.

The exemptions for items including some shrimp and electric vehicle batteries had been due to expire on Thursday but had now been extended until April 16, 2022, it added.

The tit-for-tat trade war erupted during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s term in office and saw tariffs slapped on billions of dollars worth of goods.

A Phase 1 interim trade deal agreed in January 2020 called for China to boost purchases of U.S. exports by $200 billion over two years. It expires at the end of the year but Beijing is far behind the target, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last extension granted by China was in May this year, maintaining tariff waivers on products including gold ore and rare earth metal ore.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Beijing Newswroom Writing by Colin Qian and Tom Daly Editing by David Goodman and Nick Macfie)

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