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China moves to lessen impact of US tariffs

CHINA yesterday unveiled measures taken to relieve the impacts of China-US trade frictions on companies.

“In response to new US tariffs imposed on July 6, China had to take necessary countermeasures,” a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

When formulating the list of US products that would be subject to countermeasure tariffs, China took into full consideration the substitutability of the imported products and the overall impacts on trade and investment, the spokesman said.

At the same time, China will take the following measures:

— Continuously evaluate the impacts on different kinds of companies.

— The new tax income from the countermeasures will be mainly used to relieve the impacts on companies and their employees.

— Encourage companies to adjust import structure, and increase the imports of agricultural products such as soybeans and soybean meal, aquatic products, and automobiles from other countries and regions.

— Step up the implementation of the guidelines released by the State Council on June 15 on making active and effective use of foreign investment and promoting high-quality economic development to reinforce the protection of corporate interests and create a better investment environment.

The spokesman added that the policies will be constantly improved, and opinions and suggestions in this respect will be welcomed.

“For companies that are severely impacted, we suggest they report to local government departments,” the spokesman said.

Also yesterday, China publicized guidelines on expanding imports for balanced foreign trade, with policy incentives detailed in several areas.

China should keep exports stable while at the same time further expand imports, according to the guidelines, which were approved and released by the State Council.

China will optimize the structure of imports to support upgrading production and consumption, with tariff cuts in certain products and clean-up of unreasonable price markups, the guidelines said.

Policy incentives will be given to imports of daily consumer goods, medicine, and equipment for rehabilitation and elderly care.

China will optimize the layout of its international market, focusing on the expansion of imports from countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

China will also actively explore multiple channels to boost imports, including hosting the China International Import Expo.

The country’s investment environment should be improved so that foreign investment could play an important role in boosting imports, the guidelines said.

The country will further facilitate trade through cultivating pro-import platforms and strengthening intellectual property rights protection, the guidelines said.
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