China exempts 16 types of U.S. goods from additional tariffs

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Sept 9 2019

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Sept 9 2019

"These adjustments signal that China is more willing to make progress in the October trade talks, likely toward striking a "narrow" agreement that involves China buying more United States goods in exchange for the United States suspending further tariff hikes", Barclays analysts said in a research note.

American businesses are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects in China as the USA trade war rumbles on, with growing numbers of companies expecting their revenues and investment in the local market to shrink, a survey said on Wednesday.

Both sides imposed fresh tit-for-tat tariffs on September 1 in the latest round of levies, which now cover goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Beijing has exempted 16 types of US-made goods from additional tariffs that were introduced as a retaliatory measure after Washington raised duties on a number of Chinese products.

Wednesday's lists do not include big-ticket items such as soybeans and pork.

Other product categories which will become exempt from tariffs include alfalfa pellets, fish feed, medical linear accelerators and mould release agents.

The exemptions will apply to US goods including some anti-cancer drugs and lubricants, as well as the animal feed ingredients whey and fish meal, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

Trade negotiators have said they will meet in Washington in early October, raising hopes that fresh negotiations could help ease tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

"American companies continue to do well in China, but the trade conflict now shadows many businesses", said Eric Zheng, chairman of the trade association.

China's economic growth came in at 6.2 percent in the second quarter, the lowest rate in almost three decades.

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