China to waive tariffs on some US soybeans, pork in goodwill gesture

Beijing – China on Friday confirmed that it will waive import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the United States, as the two sides try to thrash out a broader agreement to defuse their protracted trade war.

The tariff waivers were based on applications by individual companies, the finance ministry said in a statement, citing a decision by the country’s Cabinet without specifying the quantities involved.

Several industry sources in the United States and China interpreted the announcement as official confirmation of duty exemptions on up to 10 million tonnes of soybeans and an unknown volume of pork sources said were offered to importers earlier this year.

“There’s nothing that’s saying this is some big addition to what’s been out there,” said Matt Wiegand, commodity broker for FuturesOne in Lincoln, Nebraska.

China had imposed levies in response to tariffs launched by Washington over allegations that China steals and forces the transfer of American intellectual property to Chinese firms. Tariffs on U.S. soy imports are currently 33% while levies on pork are up to 72%.

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