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China to lower import tariffs on some products starting Jan. 1

BEIJING — China will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some type of semiconductors next year, the finance ministry said, as Beijing looks to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States.

Next year, China will implement temporary import tariffs, which are lower than the most-favored-nation tariffs, on over 850 products, said the finance ministry. That compared with 706 products that were taxed at temporary rates in 2019.

China’s economy is expanding at its weakest rate in nearly 30 years and could face more downward pressure next year, but the government has vowed to keep growth within a reasonable range in 2020 and keep policies forward-looking and effective.

Pigs in a pen before being butchered at a pork processing facility in Missouri.Daniel Acker / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

The tariff rate for frozen pork will be cut to 8% from the most-favored-nation duty of 12%, while the rate for frozen avocado will be reduced to 7% from the most-favored-nation duty of 30%, said the ministry in a statement on its website.

Tariffs for some asthma and diabetes medications will be set at zero, said the ministry, while duties on some wood and paper products will be lowered too.

Import tariffs on multi-component semiconductors will be cut to zero.

China will also further lower most-favored-nation import tariffs on some information technology products from July 1, said the ministry.