China announces tariff exemption of US soybeans, pork

China on Friday announced it would exempt some U.S. soybeans and pork from tariffs in an attempt to lower tensions and secure a trade deal, local media reported Friday.

Customs officials said in a statement that some purchases of the two items by Chinese firms would not be hit by the punitive duties imposed as a countermeasure in the trade war with the U.S., the local daily South China Morning Post reported.

Chinese companies have already "imported certain quantities of goods from the United States," the statement added.

The announcement came amid ongoing bilateral "extensive and serious" discussions over the past two weeks between Beijing and Washington to end a trade war between them and reach an agreement that would help stabilize the world economy.

On Thursday, Beijing announced that China and the U.S. have agreed to remove additional tariffs on each other's goods.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the two sides would decide how much tariffs would be rolled back in first phase.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced earlier this week that his country would boost imports and decrease tariffs on goods coming into the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump had accused China of infringement of patents originating in the U.S.

The U.S.'s trade deficit with China is around $419.2 billion, with Washington importing a record $539.5 billion worth of goods from Beijing last year.

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