Cooperation opportunity emerges between China, US as tariff exclusion re-extended

15/03/2021    11

The US has re-extended tariff exclusion on about 99 categories of medical products from China from March 31 to September 30 to aid the fight against COVID-19, media reports said. The nearly one-hundred-item list includes masks, gloves, blood pressure cuff sleeves and X-ray tables. 

Fully entrenched in the depths of a coronavirus crisis, the Biden administration's latest measure in trade in medical goods is apparently a necessary and practical choice to secure steady anti-pandemic products imports to tackle the pandemic, and in the meantime more countries may follow suit to reduce trade costs for medical products.

Countries across the world need to strengthen cooperation to weather the trying times and to promote zero-tariff for anti-pandemic goods. This will undoubtedly help mankind secure a swift victory and realize early economic recovery.

Zero-tariff for anti-pandemic products have been proposed by some WTO members, but a resolution is still waiting to be passed. If the world's largest economy can lead more countries agree to implement the trade facilitate measure, there is good chance for a WTO resolution to be passed.

As the world's first and second largest economies, if the US and China promote the WTO multilateral trade mechanism to implement zero tariffs on anti-pandemic products, this will not only help ease global public health crisis, promote vaccination, but also maintain the influence of global multilateral trading mechanisms.

China and the US have been seeking starting point to promote cooperation since US President Joe Biden took office on January 20. To promote trade facilitation for medical products amid the challenging time could be a good opportunity.

As Washington seeks talks with diplomats from Beijing, the topic of enhancing cooperation in combating pandemic is expected to be among major topics. Biden administration is trying to get rid of the burden on its virus-stricken economy with stimulus package push, but without putting the pandemic under control, the US is doomed to fail to maintain stable economy.

If China and the US can manage successful cooperation in COVID-19 fight and jointly maintain the roles of global multilateral mechanism, this would reach multiple effects of re-demonstrating cooperative spirit and consolidate global multilateral mechanism.

The US has been looking to take a pragmatic approach to foreign relationships. Biden, a veteran politician, is more likely to take cool down measures when bilateral relationship turning into a dangerous point.

China has taken an open attitude toward conduct dialogue with the US to promote cooperation while manage difference. Amid current global situation, it's obvious urgent for China and the US to ramp up such efforts, thus start engagement of dialogues is good news which will also boost global market confidence.

Source: Global Times