China plans to reduce tariffs on more than 8,500 goods, including chemicals, farm products and metals from India and some other Asian countries in what is seen as a part of its ongoing trade war with the US.
“China will reduce or cancel tariffs on imports of 8,549 types of goods from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos & Sri Lanka,” China's ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui tweeted on Wednesday. “The goods include chemicals, agricultural & medical products, soyabean, clothing, steel & aluminium products. Good news to help reduce trade imbalance.”
Trade experts and negotiators have termed the move a strategic one since most items are those on which Beijing has slapped higher tariffs when they are imported from the US.
On June 17, China had said it would impose additional tariff of 25 per cent on soyabeans, chemical products, and medical equipment from the US.
Ajay Sahai, director general at Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said the tariff cut will translate into actual benefits only Indian exporters are able to get market access in China. “Regulatory clearances need to be simplified as well, especially in pharmaceuticals and agricultural goods,” he said. Referring to Beijing blocking rice and meat imports from India, a negotiator said, “Tariffs are immaterial in China. It is the political will to import.”
As per media reports, China will reduce tariffs on soybean imported from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos, and Sri Lanka from the current 3 per cnet to zero.
India doesn’t export any soybean oil or flour of soybean but sends negligible amount of oil-cake obtained from soya-bean oil extraction.
India’s exports to China in 2017-18 amounted to $13.3 billion while imports stood at $76.2 billion, leaving a trade gap of $62.9 billion, or more than Rs 4.3 lakh crore.