China will cut its tariffs in half on about $75 billion worth of U.S. imports starting Feb. 14 as part of Phase One of the trade deal between the two countries, according to a report by The Hill. The U.S. has already halved the rate of tariffs on Chinese goods it had imposed in September.
Declaring the trade war over may be premature though. For one thing, the article says Trump plans to impose new tariffs on some Chines steel and aluminum products, and the coronavirus could complicate China’s ability to fulfill some of its other Phase One obligations, such as purchasing more U.S. goods and services.
Then there is skepticism that either side will be able to meet its commitments.
As The Hill writer Niv Elis explains, Phase One did not require China to cut tariffs; the move is seen as helping the country fulfill its obligations to import $200 billion more from the U.S.
“Trade watchers are skeptical that China will be able to successfully boost its purchases by that level, and some have argued that the U.S. may not be able to boost its production to meet the new demand,” Elis writes. “Exporters, they say, may simply redirect their products to China as opposed to other destinations.”