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Trade war

Soybean showdown: China removes tariffs in Asia

Beijing touts alternatives to US, but effect may be limited

Soybeans being loaded at a port in China's Jiangsu Province. China, the world's largest consumer of soybeans, relies on U.S. imports for up to 30% of its needs.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China is harnessing soybeans as a weapon in its escalating trade conflict with the U.S., eliminating import tariffs on the key commodity from five countries to diversify its supply base.

Chinese media said Tuesday that tariffs on soybean imports from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos and Sri Lanka would be lowered to zero from 3%. Beijing sees soybeans as a trump card in its trade dispute with Washington, including the beans in the 25% tariffs announced June 16. The move takes aim at U.S. President Donald Trump's stronghold in agricultural states ahead of midterm elections in November.

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