China is lining up a broad reduction on import tariffs for the majority of its trading partners as early as next month, sources told Bloomberg, as Beijing looks to offset the impact of escalating trade tensions with the US.
The sources did not provide details on what products will benefit from the tariff cut or whether any US goods will be included on the list. However, under WTO rules, any change to a country’s tariff policy must be equally applied to all countries.
“This is in line with China’s longstanding strategy of opening,” said Nicholas Lardy of the Paulson Institute. “It has the additional advantage that it will make US firms complain more loudly that Trump’s strategy is blocking their access to the China market.”
China is also looking to make importing and exporting from China an easier process. At a State Council meeting on Wednesday, Li Keqiang called for reductions in application processing time and more available export insurance for Chinese companies.