China Drops Some U.S. Pork and Soybean Tariffs as Trade Tensions Ease

BEIJING — China will exempt some American soybeans, pork and other agricultural products from additional tariffs, state media reported on Friday, in the latest move by Beijing to ease trade tensions with the United States.

China Central Television, the nation’s official broadcaster, did not disclose details. But in a brief report issued late Friday afternoon, it cited President Trump’s move on Thursday to delay Washington’s new tariffs by two weeks so that they take effect after trade talks scheduled for early October.

Depending on the amount of agricultural products exempted, China’s move could be warmly welcomed by Mr. Trump. Some farmers in the United States have been hit hard by tariffs imposed by Beijing on American goods, a retaliation against the White House’s mounting tariffs. With the 2020 presidential election fast approaching, the farming vote is critical in many of the states that supported Mr. Trump in 2016.

The move could also help China with its own problems. Food inflation has been rising as Chinese authorities battle an epidemic of swine fever, which has forced China to cull millions of diseased pigs. Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet.

The announcement followed signals that China was moving toward resuming purchases of American agricultural products. On Thursday an American soybean industry association said that China has purchased between 600,000 to 1 million metric tons of soybeans.

On Wednesday, in another move toward easing tensions, China publishing a short list of products to be spared from retaliatory tariffs on American-made goods, including cancer drugs, lubricants, pesticides.

Trade tensions between China and the United States had worsened in recent months, following the collapse of talks in May. But senior officials of both governments are set to meet in Washington early next month amid rising economic worries in both countries

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