© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vannessa Kummer evaluates soybeans near Colfax, North Dakota
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will exempt some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, in the latest sign of easing Sino-U.S. tensions before a new rounds of talks aimed at curbing a bruising trade war. The United States and China have both made conciliatory gestures, with China renewing purchases of U.S. farm goods and U.S. President Donald Trump delaying a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods. China had imposed additional tariffs of 25% on U.S. agricultural products including soybeans and pork in July 2018. It raised tariffs on soybeans by a further 5% and on pork by a further 10% on Sept. 1. “China supports relevant enterprises buying certain amounts of soybeans, pork and other agricultural products from today in accordance with market principles and WTO rules,” Xinhua said, adding that the Customs Tariff Commission of China’s State Council would exclude additional tariffs on those items. China has “broad prospects” for importing high-quality U.S. agricultural goods, Xinhua reported, citing unnamed authorities. “It is hoped that the U.S. will be true to its words and fulfill its promise to create favorable conditions for cooperation in agricultural areas between the two countries,” the report said. Before the announcement of additional tariff exemptions, Chinese firms bought at least 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, the country’s most significant purchases since at least June. Lower-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet next week in Washington before talks between senior trade negotiators in early October. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he preferred a comprehensive trade deal with China but did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact.
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