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China Backs Off New Tariffs After 'Phase One' Deal

Following the breakthrough in trade talks leading up to the weekend, China halts some retaliatory fees on U.S. imports to that nation slated for Sunday.
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Following the agreement of the "phase one" trade deal between Beijing and Washington, China has further halted tariffs that were planned on some U.S. imports to the nation.

The import fees were supposed to be raised on products Sunday, according to a story by national news outlet Xinhua that was posted on China's State Council website on Sunday. 

Some existing tariffs on U.S. imports to China will remain in place, just as the U.S. will keep in place its existing tariffs ranging from 7.5% to 25% on about $370 billion of Chinese imports.

But the proposed tariffs, which were supposed to be in retaliation to U.S. fees on Chinese imports to the U.S., would have included new fees on U.S. autos and parts. It would also have included tariffs on corn and other grains, according to Reuters. 

Washington was also planning to up tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese imports by Sunday, but changed course after a so-called phase-one trade deal was reached just before the weekend

"This is totally done, absolutely" U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday about the deal that is set to be signed next month, pending some ironing out of the language and translation. 

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"The Chinese side hopes that the two sides will work together on the basis of equality and mutual respect to properly address each other's core concerns and promote the stable development of Sino-US economic and trade relations," Xinhua quoted the Chinese government as saying.

On the same day, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on FOX News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo that he viewed the existing 25% tariffs on $250 billion on Chinese imports as "insurance" to keep China in compliance with a deal. 

"We have adjusted trade tariffs down, the December 15th tariffs, and part of the September tariffs, we will still have $250 billion and 25 percent, which I look at as a bargaining and an insurance policy," Kudlow said, according to a transcript provided by Fox. 

Bartiromo probed whether the U.S. was actually able to secure any intellectual property safeguards through a trade deal, following new Chinese cyber security rules limiting the ability of foreign companies to encrypt data.

"Well, look. We will see," said Kudlow. "There's a large IP chapter in this deal and there's also a large forced technology transfer chapter in this deal. I don't think we know enough about these new Chinese rules and we'll have to look at that and by the way if they do violate then of course we will take action. That's part of the enforcement mechanism in the deal. But look, to take a look at what's actually there, you know, in the intellectual property theft chapter, counterfeiting, stealing tradable goods, that is going to be front and center. There's a whole process now where if you go out and you start stealing goods or as I say, counterfeiting goods, that's going to come under an enforcement process, multi-stages, individual companies..."

Correction: Xinhua was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.