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China to halve tariffs on $75 bn of US imports

International News from World: China on Thursday said it would halve tariffs on $75 billion-worth of US imports as part of its trade truce with Washington and as officials look to calm markets unnerved by the deadly virus outbreak.

The State Council Tariff Commission said the reductions would come in a month after Beijing and Washington signed a deal to dial down a long-running trade war that has hit the global economy.

It also comes a day after Donald Trump hailed relations between the superpowers as the “best” ever in his State of the Union address, with observers saying Beijing was likely keen to geti moving on the next phase of talks towards a wider agreement.

Levies of five and 10 percent on more than 1,700 items — imposed in September — will be cut from February 14, the same day Washington is expected to halve tariffs on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Products affected include fresh seafood, poultry and soybeans as well as tungsten lamps for scientific and medical purposes, and some types of aircraft.

The move is aimed at “promoting the healthy and stable development of China-US economic and trade relations”, the Commission said in a statement.

“To alleviate economic and trade friction, and expand cooperation in these areas, China has also made relevant adjustments,” it added, referring to the US cuts. “We hope to work with the US towards the ultimate elimination of all increased tariffs.”

The Commission also said it “hopes that both parties will be able to abide by their agreement, strive to implement its relevant content, (and) boost market confidence”.

Other retaliatory tariffs, however, remain in place.