Threat of China tariffs fades as trade talks make progress

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

May 21, 2018 -- The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China appears to be cooling down. The Trump administration said that tariffs were no longer on the table after negotiators reached a tentative deal to reduce the trade imbalance between the countries.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on "Fox News Sunday" that the administration's plan to slap a 25% tariff on goods made in China was "on hold" as a result of progress made in negotiations between the two countries on reducing China's trade surplus.

The Trump administration announced on April 3 that it would levy a 25% tariff on a list of 1,300 products manufactured in China as punishment for what it said were unfair trade policies practiced by the Chinese government. The list included nearly all radiology modalities used in medical imaging, such as CT, MRI, ultrasound, x-ray, and nuclear medicine.

The tariffs could have negatively affected capital equipment purchasing if they were applied to systems built in China by multinational companies and then imported into the U.S. Most major OEMs have significant manufacturing operations in China, particularly for low-end radiology modalities.

Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" that the framework agreement being discussed between the countries could include a commitment by China to buy more U.S. products to cut the trade deficit, protections for intellectual property, and changes to the Chinese economy that would make U.S. goods more competitive there.


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