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China to halve tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods from February 14

New Delhi — China on Thursday said it will halve additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of US products, after the two countries signed a Phase 1 trade deal earlier this year.

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The tariffs, which were imposed in September, will take effect from 0501 GMT February 14.

China will cut the 10% tariff on US-origin agro products to 5%, including soybeans, fresh seafood and poultry, the State Council Tariff Commission said in a statement Thursday.

The 5% tariff will be lowered to 2.5% on other products, such as automotive goods, chemicals and crude oil, the statement read.

The waiver is aimed at "promoting the healthy and stable development of US-China economic and trade relations", the Commission said. However, other retaliatory import tariffs, which China imposed on the US goods last year, will remain, according to the statement.

The US and China signed a Phase 1 trade deal January 15 that brought a truce to the 18-month long trade war between the world's biggest economies, with Beijing committing to purchase an additional $200 billion in American goods over the next two years, including $80 billion agro products.

The reduction in tariff comes at a time when China is struggling to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 560 lives and brought the business supply chain across the country to a standstill.

On average, analysts have cut China's Q1 growth forecast by 1 percentage point to 5% amid fears the coronavirus outbreak will hurt demand.

The virus could also stall China's economic growth in the first quarter, a trade source said. With the sluggish economy, China's purchase capacity could get restricted, which in turn could jeopardize the Phase 1 trade deal, at least in the short-term.