After Truce With U.S., China Cuts Tariffs on Many Global Imports

BEIJING — China said on Monday that it would lower tariffs on a range of goods imported from around the world starting on Jan. 1, moving to support domestic consumers even as a trade truce with the United States has relieved some of the pressure on the Chinese economy.

The action, which comes less than two weeks after Beijing and the Trump administration reached a partial deal to end their trade war, also helps China buttress its assertions that it has continued to open up its market despite the long-running conflict with the United States.

The stopgap trade pact reached this month forestalled one last round of American tariffs that would have extended levies to cover nearly every shoe, laptop and toy that the United States imports from China.

But the deal still leaves many question marks over China’s economy, which has slowed as the tariff conflict has dragged on. With many tariffs on American products still in place, China needs to keep trading with other nations to satisfy its people’s demands for imported goods.

The list of 859 products that will face lower import levies beginning next year appears to have been carefully chosen to meet various requirements of the moment.

Among the goods are frozen pork, which the country needs because its pig herds have been devastated by a deadly epidemic of swine fever. The list also includes pharmaceutical ingredients, which China requires as its population ages and demand for new drugs grows, as well as high-tech components, a necessity as China pushes to become a world leader in industries such as computer chips.

Levies will also be lowered on grocery items such as avocados, orange juice and seafood, as Chinese households become choosier about the food they eat.

As frictions with the United States began heating up in 2018, China stepped up efforts to lower trade barriers with the rest of the world. It announced a similar tariff cut this time last year. That one covered 706 products.