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Nation to reduce tariffs on goods from nine countries



Nation to reduce tariffs on goods from nine countries

China will reduce tariffs on a wide range of goods imported from nine countries starting Jan 1 in a major move to implement the landmark Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which will promote the growth of regional trade and investment, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Following approval by the State Council, China's tariffs on imported goods from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will be reduced as of Jan 1, the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, which is based in the ministry, announced on Wednesday.

As a result of this latest move, more than 90 percent of the trade in goods among RCEP members will be tariff-free, and they will enjoy new market opportunities, said experts.

The timetable for implementing tariff reductions on imports from other RCEP members will be announced later by the commission, added the commission.

The RCEP agreement is the first time that China and Japan have agreed to reduce tariffs in bilateral trade.

In 2022, China will eliminate tariffs on 24.9 percent of imported goods from Japan, and about 55.5 percent of Japan's imports from China will be tariff-free, according to the ministry.

Cui Fan, a professor at the School of International Trade and Economics of the University of International Business and Economics, said that the tariff cuts among RCEP members will help to promote the growth of regional trade and investment and improve regional economic integration in East Asia.

They will also consolidate and promote the integration of the industrial, supply and value chains in the region, and boost members' confidence in future economic growth, said Cui.

In addition, China will adopt interim tariff rates for 954 items of imported goods starting from Jan 1,2022. For instance, the tariff on radium chloride injections, a new type of cancer treatment medicine, will be cut to zero next year. And tariffs will also be reduced for some consumer goods, such as baby clothes and skiing gear, the ministry said.

Xu Jianguang, a professor at the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China, said that reducing tariffs on some medical and consumer goods will help to satisfy Chinese consumers' demand for a high-quality life and promote consumption upgrading.

Meanwhile, tariffs on some key components, such as high-purity graphite fittings and high-voltage cables, will be reduced. The move will support the upgrading of the manufacturing industry and reduce production costs, said Xu.

From July 1, 2022, the nation will also cut Most Favored Nation tariff rates for 62 information technology products, for which the average rate will be reduced from 3.4 percent to 1.7 percent, according to the announcement.