The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China on Monday announced that the country would cut import tariffs on more than 859 types of products for all its trading partners starting January 1.
The list of the products include smart-phone parts for manufacturers, consumer goods, and food items like frozen pork, which has been facing shortage due to the outbreak of African swine flu, Bloomberg reported.
The products amounted to about $389 billion in imports in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
The tariff cut comes at the backdrop of the announcement of the phase one of the trade deal between the U.S. and China but is unrelated to the agreement.
Why It Matters
China’s efforts to lower import tariffs, which are usually enforced by countries to secure domestic industries, come at a time when the country is seeing decreased economic growth.
The country’s gross domestic product grew at a slower than expected rate of 6% year-on-year in the third quarter.
China reducing tariff rates, not just for the U.S., but for all of its trading partners which include most major economies of the world such as the E.U., Russia, India, and Japan, could be a signal that the country is looking to open up its economy to combat the GDP stagnation.
President Donald Trump on Saturday said that the two countries could sign the pact “very shortly,” Reuters reported. China has agreed to purchase more agricultural goods from the U.S. as part of the trade deal.
Meanwhile, the stock market traded lower on Monday as a government-backed semiconductor fund announced that it is reducing its ownership in several tech firms.
Shanghai Composite was down 1.40% at press time. Shenzhen Component traded 1.69% lower.
Hong Kong’s HSI index was down 0.024%.