The US moved on Friday to lift tariffs on 437 Chinese goods ranging from pool vacuum cleaners to electric skateboards.
According to CNN, the US move was a response to pressure by firms that feared disruption in their value chain rather than a major concession to the Chinese side.
In any event, the exemptions announced by the US Trade Representative respond in kind to a list of Chinese exemptions ranging from cancer drugs to soybeans announced two weeks ago.
Chinese officials are expected in Washington to resume negotiations in October, while President Donald Trump said on Friday the two sides were “making a lot of progress.”
The US has collected over $100bn in tariffs on Chinese goods, according to President Trump. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $360bn in Chinese imports and is due to tax the remaining $160bn. The President insists that he is looking for a “complete deal” rather than a step-by-step de-escalation.
“No, I don’t think I need it before the election,” Trump told the press on Friday.
Talks are expected to culminate in October with the meeting of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He with the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The Trump administration and the Chinese government remain far apart on issues pertaining to market access, intellectual property, and forced technology transfer. For its part, the Chinese Communist Party is unlikely to accept the war against the telecommunications giant Huawei, currently branded a “national security threat” by US authorities.