China adjusting tariffs for 2019 to lift foreign trade

BEIJING • China will be making adjustments to some import and export tariffs for next year, removing import duties on alternatives to soymeal for animal feeds and tariffs on fertilisers and iron ore exports, to boost foreign trade as the economy slows, it said yesterday.

Import tariffs on so-called alternative meals, including rapeseed meal, cotton meal, sunflower meal and palm meal, will be removed from Jan 1, along with those for the materials of some pharmaceutical goods, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on its website.

China will levy temporary tariffs on over 700 items next year and maintain relatively low import tariffs for aircraft engines.

Temporary tax rates for manganese slag and lithium-ion battery cells for new energy vehicles will be removed and most-favoured-nation tax rates will be imposed on those products, according to the ministry.

For exports, China will not levy any export tariffs on 94 products next year, including fertilisers, iron ore, slag, coal tar and wood pulp. It will also cut most-favoured-nation tariffs on 298 IT products from July.

China's economic growth slowed to 6.5 per cent in the third quarter, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis and is expected to slow further next year amid a trade war with the United States.

A key item in the trade tussle is US soya bean exports. The US is the second-largest soya bean supplier to China.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2018, with the headline 'China adjusting tariffs for 2019 to lift foreign trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe