Trump asks China to lift tariffs on US farm products

March 04, 2019 09:04
US President Donald Trump hugs the American flag at the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting at National Harbor near Washington on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

US President Donald Trump said he has asked China to immediately remove all tariffs on US agricultural products because trade talks are progressing well, Reuters reports.

“I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs on our agricultural products (including beef, pork, etc.) based on the fact that we are moving along nicely with Trade discussions,” Trump said on Twitter, pointing out that he has not raised tariffs on Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 1 as planned.

“This is very important for our great farmers – and me!” Trump said.

Trump’s post on Twitter came several hours after the US Trade Representative’s office said it would delay the scheduled hike in tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The notice, due to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, says it is “no longer appropriate” to raise the rates because of progress in negotiations since December 2018. The tariff would remain “at 10 percent until further notice”.

Trump had delayed plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods on March 1, as previously scheduled.

In a statement on Saturday, China said it welcomed the delay.

Speaking at a separate briefing in Beijing, a Chinese government official said both countries were working on the next steps, though he gave no details.

“China and the United States reaching a mutually-beneficial, win-win agreement as soon as possible is not only good for the two countries, but is also good news for the world economy,” said Guo Weimin, spokesman for the high-profile but largely ceremonial advisory body to China’s parliament.

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