China to cut import taxes in clothing and some other goods

China announced Monday it will cut import taxes on clothing, cosmetics and some other goods by half in a new tactic to spur consumer spending and economic growth.

Beijing is in the midst of a marathon effort to reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth by nurturing domestic consumption.

Tariff cuts due to take effect June 1 will be “conducive to a reasonable expansion of imports,” said a Finance Ministry statement. “Expanding domestic consumer demand is an important measure for steady growth and structural adjustment.”

The cuts apply to clothing, shoes, skin care products, baby food and supplies and kitchen utensils.

Growth in retail sales declined to 10 percent in April, down from March’s 10.2 percent and below expectations of 10.4 percent. Imports plunged 16.2 percent compared with a year earlier in a sign of weak consumer demand.

Marketing to Chinese consumers