The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative yesterday published a final list of Chinese imports worth roughly $16 billion to be hit with 25% tariffs starting on August 23, 2018, completing the first wave of U.S. tariffs on $50 billion related to the administration's Section 301 action against Beijing’s intellectual property practices and other “harmful industrial policies.”
Adding to the tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports that were imposed in early July, the administration’s second tranch involves 279 tariff lines, down from the 284 that were originally proposed, covering a wide range of industrial goods including chemicals, railway cars and parts, and various electronics.
Goods dropped from the final list In response to input provided by U.S. manufacturers during the comment period are: alginic acid, and its salts and esters, in primary forms; splitting, slicing or paring machines for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials; containers (including containers for transport of fluids) specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport; floating docks; and microtomes.
According to a statement by the USTR, a formal notice will soon be published in the Federal Register that will include information about a product-exclusion process for companies seeking waivers from the new import tariffs.
China’s Commerce Ministry charged that the U.S. “once again put domestic law above international law by imposing ‘very unreasonable’ new tariffs on Chinese goods” and said it would be retaliating with tariffs on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods, once the latest round takes effect.
The 333 goods being targeted by China include vehicles such as large passenger cars and motorcycles. Various fuels are on the list, as well as fiber optical cables, coal, grease, petroleum jelly, asphalt and plastic products, and recyclables.
Business groups and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have opposed the use of tariffs to achieve their trade objectives, urging the administration to work with U.S. allies to force Beijing to the bargaining table.
“Whether you’re a farmer, a fisherman, or a factory worker one thing is clear – tariffs are counterproductive for long-term U.S. economic success,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated yesterday. “With $50 billion in tariffs now in effect and the continuing absence of a coherent path forward for addressing China’s harmful practices, now is the time for the U.S. and China to get back to the negotiating table to work towards solutions.”
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