Another round of tariffs as trade war escalates

NOTE: This blog is an update to our previous posts from June 18 and April 9.

The United States Trade Representative released a statement yesterday that they had finalized tariffs on a list of an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. These tariffs are being assessed in response to China’s unfair trade practices, including its “theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology.” The tariffs will be effective beginning September 24, 2018, and will be in the amount of 10 percent. Starting January 1, 2019, the additional tariffs will increase to 25 percent.

The USTR statement explains that the list contains 5,745 HTSUS items, compared to the original 6,031 items announced in July. Among the items that were originally included (but are now excluded) are certain types of consumer electronics products including smart watches, Bluetooth devices, certain chemical inputs, and textiles and agriculture, as well as some health and safety products. The final list can be found here.

These tariffs are in addition to earlier increased duties that have been assessed on Chinese goods, as well as steel and aluminum from China and from other countries.

It is very important for U.S. importers to understand what products are subject to these additional duties. It is also important to note that both U.S. exporters and importers should expect retaliatory actions from China that have been reported to range from the assessment of tariffs on U.S. exports and potentially other actions that could disrupt current supply chains (such as intentionally delaying shipments).

Stay tuned for more information as this situation unfolds. If you need help understanding how these tariffs will impact your organization, or other related guidance for import/export compliance, please schedule a no-charge consultation with our team today.

Rebecca Yeager is a Trade Compliance Consultant for Export Solutions -- a full-service consulting firm that specializes in helping companies comply with U.S. and international import/export regulations.