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25 Percent Tariff Increase on $200 Billion Worth of Imports from China Under Consideration

Friday, August 03, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The additional tariff proposed in July on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China could be increased from 10 percent to 25 percent under a new directive from President Trump.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said this possible change is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to “change its harmful policies and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all our citizens.” However, press reports state that China warned the U.S. against “blackmailing and pressuring” it to resume trade negotiations and said it would “surely take countermeasures” if the higher tariff increase is imposed.

The increase would apply to 6,031 tariff lines from China (full list available here). It would be part of the Trump administration’s response to a Section 301 investigation determination that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory. Also as part of that response the administration imposed an additional 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods effective July 6 and could extend that tariff to an additional $16 billion worth of imports from China in the near future.

USTR’s previously announced hearing on the possible tariff increase will still be held Aug. 20-23 in Washington, D.C. However, requests to appear at the hearing are now due by Aug. 13 and the deadline for post-hearing rebuttal comments has been extended from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5.

Click here for ST&R’s web page providing comprehensive information on all U.S. tariffs imposed under Section 301 and Section 232 as well as the retaliatory tariffs trading partners are levying on U.S. goods.

With such a large volume and value of imports from China subject to the proposed tariff, companies importing from China should act now to assess how it may impact their supply chains. If you think you might be negatively affected, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 to review the list and discuss options, alternatives, and actions that might be pursued to protect your interests.

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