China Exempts US Agricultural Products from Tariffs

Exempting agricultural products from tariffs is expected to ease trade tensions before the U.S. and China begin negotiations later this month.

Joao Marcelo Marques Qp0lt8ehfjg Unsplash

Farmers will finally receive some much needed relief in the on-going trade war between the United States and China. 

CNBC reports that China will exclude American farm goods from tariffs. The move is expected to ease trade tensions before the two countries begin negotiations later this month.

The Trump administration announced yesterday that it will be delaying tariffs for two weeks out of a "gesture of good will." The tariffs - first scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1 - will now go into effect on Oct. 15. 

The delay comes just after the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) president Dennis Slater revealed that American businesses paid $6.8 billion in July because of the tariffs, while extra import tariffs have cost U.S. taxpayers $30 billion. Making it a year-over-year increase of 62%.

"These tariffs are increasingly hurting American workers and their families," Slater says in a statement. "U.S. taxpayers have paid over $30 billion in extra import tariffs according to the new data released today and that number will rise as the situation worsens. It shows again that these tariffs don’t work and are serving as a tax on American consumers. It’s time to end this trade war. Americans across the country, including our industry's 1.3 million men and women, deserve better."

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The trade war began last year after the Trump administration placed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting the country to retaliate with their own duties. Farmers quickly started to feel the impact of the trade war as Chinese placed heavy tariffs on agricultural products and promptly stopped buying soybeans - which was previously the country's top purchase.

Meanwhile, the agriculture industry has suffered so severely that the Trump administration has had to dish out two different relief packages to aid those whose incomes have been slashed. However, it has been reported that the packages have yet to be passed down to smaller farmers, and only wealthy industry leaders have received aid

China's agriculture purchases has been a major point of discussion during trade negotiations. Trump has reportedly accused China of not following through on its promises, however, the country has bought 600,000 metric tons of soybeans from U.S. export terminals from October to December. 

CNBC reports that the farm goods will be added to the 16 types of U.S. products that will be exempt from tariffs until Sept. 16, 2020.