China to halve tariffs on hundreds of US goods

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Flags of the U.S. and China fly along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17, 2011.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

China on Thursday announced that it will halve tariffs on hundreds of U.S. goods worth about $75 billion.

Tariffs on some U.S. goods will be cut from 10% to 5%, and from 5% to 2.5% on others, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Finance. The adjustments will take effect from 1:01 p.m on Feb. 14, it said, but did not specify what time zone.

The cuts apply to about $75 billion worth of imports from the U.S. that was slapped with tariffs on Sept. 1, 2019, according to a separate statement on the ministry’s website. It was not immediately clear which products are covered by the suspension.

The statement said the move was made in order to “advance the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. trade.”  It did not mention if it was related to the current coronavirus outbreak. 

However, Beijing on Saturday said it would suspend retaliatory tariffs on products from the United States that can be used to combat the coronavirus outbreak in China.

China and the U.S. have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods in their trade battle. Both countries have, however, reached a so-called phase one trade agreement which they signed in January.

Under the agreement, the Trump administration scrapped tariffs initially set to take effect last December. It also agreed to cut duties on $120 billion in products to 7.5%.

Still, the White House has said it will leave tariffs on another $250 billion in Chinese products in place for now. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a second phase of the agreement that the U.S. hopes to strike could include more tariff relief.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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