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More US Tariffs

The US has announced plans to impose an additional 10-% tariff on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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The Office of the United States Trade Representative (OTR) has announced this week: “On June 20, 2018 (83 FR 28710), the U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) provided notice of an initial action in the Section 301 investigation of the acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The initial action was the imposition of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion, effective July 6, 2018. The June 20 notice also sought public comment on another proposed action, in the form of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $16 billion. The public comment process in connection with the proposed additional action is ongoing. On July 6, 2018, China responded to the initial action by imposing increased duties on goods of the United States. In light of China’s decision to respond to the investigation by imposing duties on U.S. goods, the Trade Representative proposes a modification of the action taken in this investigation. The proposed modification is to maintain the original $34 billion action and the proposed $16 billion action, and to take further action in the form of an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $200 billion”.

 

The new list runs to over 6,000 items, including foodstuffs and processed food products, fruit and produce, plus fish and other items the US imports from China in large quantities. Industrial products listed include automotive batteries, spark plugs, starter motors and ignition system components, and several classes of tyres (including industrial equipment tyres). Portal or pedestal jib cranes are also listed, along with truck mounted crane units.

 

“In developing the list of tariff subheadings included in this proposed supplemental action, trade analysts considered products from across all sectors of the Chinese economy. The tariff subheadings considered by the analysts included subheadings that commenters suggested for inclusion in response to the April 6 notice. The selection process took account of likely impacts on U.S. consumers, and involved the removal of subheadings identified by analysts as likely to cause disruptions to the U.S. economy, as well as tariff lines subject to legal or administrative constraints,” the OTR noted.

 

Comments on the list are due by July 27, 2018. There will be a public hearing in Washington, scheduled for August 20-23. US consumers will not see the price of Chinese-made consumer goods in the new listing rise until towards the end of the year (if the tariffs proceed).

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