China to exempt 16 categories of US products from tariffs

President Donald Trump on Friday said the weight of the protracted trade war is damaging China more than the US. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 September 2019

China to exempt 16 categories of US products from tariffs

  • Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a year-long trade war
  • The exemptions announced Wednesday will become effective on September 17

BEIJING: China announced Wednesday it would exempt 16 categories of products from US tariffs, ahead of a fresh round of trade talks next month.

Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a year-long trade war that has seen the two sides slap punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.

The exemptions announced Wednesday will become effective on September 17 and be valid for one year, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, which released two lists that include seafood products and anti-cancer drugs.

The lists mark the first time Beijing has announced products to be excluded from tariffs. Other categories that will become exempt include alfalfa pellets, fish feed, medical linear accelerators and mold release agents.

Wednesday’s lists do not include big-ticket items such as soybeans and pork. But in the statement, the commission said it was also considering further exemptions.

Trade negotiators have said they will meet in Washington in early October, raising hopes for an easing of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Both sides imposed fresh tit-for-tat tariffs on September 1. In a sign of the pressure being felt by the Chinese economy, the central People’s Bank of China said on Friday it would cut the amount of cash lenders must keep in reserve, allowing an estimated $126 billion in additional loans to businesses.
China’s economic growth came in at 6.2 percent in the second quarter, the lowest rate in nearly three decades.

President Donald Trump on Friday said the weight of the protracted trade war is damaging China more than the US. “China is eating the tariffs,” he said on Twitter, repeating his claim that higher duties mean Washington is collecting billions of dollars from the Asian giant, without costs being passed on to US consumers.

But experts have warned there are signs the US is also feeling the pinch, with job creation slowing across major industries last month.


10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

Updated 20 January 2020

10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

  • “I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app”: Ayman Al-Anam

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi fifth-grader’s new communication app — Lita Free Video Calls and Chat — has created a huge buzz among local internet users. Already, 10,500 people have downloaded the app from the Google Play Store since Saturday.

Ayman Al-Anam submitted the app to Google on Dec. 27. After scrutiny and manual verification, Google uploaded the app on its Play Store on Dec. 31.

 “Currently, Bangladeshi internet users are mostly dependent on apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Imo for communication overseas,” Al-Anam told Arab News.

“I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app.”

It took the 10-year-old 10 months to create the app, which he said he accomplished by himself, without the help of any mentor. “I learned the process through different YouTube tutorials. The rest was just trial and error,” he added.

 The app provides better-quality, high-definition video calls to its users. It also works for transferring big data in a shorter amount of time compared to similar apps.

Al-Anam’s success at such an early age has surprised his parents. “From a very early age, my son had a knack for technology, and I encouraged him to pursue it. He used to spend his free time in front of computers, smartphones and other devices,” said proud father Tauhedush Salam Nishad. “I always supported him, but I never dreamed that he’d see this sort of success so young.”

Recalling the first successful test run of the new app, Nishad said: “One night, I returned home from work and Ayman took my smartphone and installed the raw file of the app. Later, he did the same with his mother’s phone and connected the two devices with a video call. It was the best moment in his life. He shouted with joy, ‘I did it!’” 

Al-Anam named the app after his mother Lita. The young inventor is currently studying at South Point School and College in Chattogram, 248 km from the capital. He dreams of becoming a software engineer and wants to work at
Google headquarters.

His creation has drawn much attention from local experts. “We should nurture this sort of extraordinary talent very carefully,” Prof. Mohammad Kaikobad of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology told Arab News.

 “This new generation will lead the technology world of tomorrow if they’re guided and
encouraged properly.”