China will reduce or cut to zero
tariffs on a total of 8,549 types of goods originating in India and four other
Asian countries from July 1, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The adjustment, covering products made in India,
Bangladesh, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka, was part of the tariff concession
arrangement reached under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), it said.
The goods include chemicals, agricultural and
medical products, clothing, steel and aluminum products. The items on the list
from the five Asian countries will have a new tariff rate effective on Sunday.
"The change was decided upon as unilateralism and trade
protectionism are on the rise and tensions appear in the trade relations among
global economies," the state-run China Daily said, referring to the
looming US-China trade war.
After the adjustment, tariffs on 2,323
categories of commodities such as certain chemicals, optical components and
television cameras will be reduced, state-run Xinhua news agency reported,
citing the ministry.
The move came after a new arrangement was reached during the fourth
round of tariff concession negotiations among the six APTA members in January
The trade agreement, formerly known as the
Bangkok Agreement, signed in 1975 and renamed in 2005, has been the oldest
preferential trade agreement among economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Formed
by six member countries, the trade agreement covers a population of three
Trade experts and negotiators have termed the move a strategic one since
most items are those on which Beijing has slapped higher tariffs when they are
imported from the US.
On June 17, China had said it would impose
additional tariff of 25 per cent on soyabeans, chemical products, and medical
equipment from the US.
Ajay Sahai, director general at Federation of Indian Export
Organisations (FIEO), said the tariff cut will translate into actual benefits
only Indian exporters are able to get market access in China. “Regulatory
clearances need to be simplified as well, especially in pharmaceuticals and
agricultural goods,” he said. Referring to Beijing blocking rice and meat
imports from India, a negotiator said, “Tariffs are immaterial in China. It is
the political will to import.”
As per media reports, China will reduce tariffs on soybean imported from
India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos, and Sri Lanka from the current 3 per cent