Monday 23 December 2019 9:05 am

China to cut tariffs on hundreds of products

China is preparing to slash tariffs on hundreds of products next year in a bid to bolster the economy. 

Import tariffs on 859 items, ranging from frozen pork to technology products, will be cut from 1 January in order to “increase imports of products facing a relative domestic shortage, or foreign speciality goods for everyday consumption”. 

Read more: Trump: US to suspend planned tariffs after reaching China trade deal

Frozen pork tariffs, which will be cut to eight per cent from 12 per cent for some countries, are being reduced as China battles with an outbreak of African swine fever. 

An outbreak of African swine fever that started in August last year has nearly halved China’s pig herd, official data showed, sending pork prices soaring to record levels.

Semiconductors, certain types of medication and some wood and paper products are among the items that will see tariffs reduced.

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.

The plans also back up the claim that China – which is in a long-running trade dispute with the US – is opening up its economy.