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The Ministry of Commerce of China has issued a notification on the expansion of imports of medical supplies and daily necessities to fight the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country.

As of the end of 5 February, health officials have confirmed 28,275 cases worldwide, including 28,049 confirmed cases in China. According to the National Health Commission (NHC), 24,702 people are suspected to have been infected in mainland China.

To ensure domestic supply, local commerce departments have been advised to expand imports to epidemic prevention and control. The government is looking to boost imports of medical supplies and raw materials for production.

The Ministry has provided details regarding 51 medical suppliers or supply channels in 14 countries and regions to local commerce departments.

China cuts tariffs on US goods

China has decided to reduce tariffs on US goods worth approximately $75bn from 14 February. The country is decreasing the original 10% tariff, applied in 2019, to 5% on some goods. On some other goods, the rate will be adjusted to 2.5%.

In a statement, Ministry of Finance said: “China hopes that both parties can abide by the agreement, strive to implement the relevant content of the agreement, strengthen market confidence, promote the development of bilateral economic and trade relations, and promote world economic growth.”

Earlier this month, the State Council Tariff Commission said that the reduction in tariffs is meant to prevent and control pneumonia epidemic of coronavirus.