March 31, 2019 / 12:45 PM / 2 months ago

China will continue to suspend extra tariffs on U.S. vehicles, auto parts

FILE PHOTO: A man drives a red car past a parking lot where large numbers of newly manufactured cars are parked at Dayaowan port of Dalian, Liaoning province June 10, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s State Council said on Sunday that the country would continue to suspend additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts after April 1, in a goodwill gesture following a U.S. decision to delay tariff hikes on Chinese imports.

In December, China said it would suspend additional 25 percent tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts for three months, following a truce in a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The State Council, or cabinet, said Sunday’s move was aimed at “continuing to create a good atmosphere for the ongoing trade negotiations between both sides”.

“It is a positive reaction to the U.S. decision to delay tariff hikes and a concrete action adopted (by the Chinese side) to promote bilateral trade negotiations,” the State Council said.

“We hope the U.S. can work together with China, accelerate negotiations and make concrete efforts towards the goal of terminating trade tensions.”

The government also said it would announce separately when the suspension would end.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade talks with China were going very well, but cautioned that he would not accept anything less than a “great deal” after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials wrapped up two days of negotiations in Beijing.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were in the Chinese capital for the first face-to-face meetings between the two sides since Trump delayed a scheduled March 2 increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The talks are set to resume next week in Washington with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Yawen Chen in BEIJING, Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Dale Hudson

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