Update and Timeline on Import Tariffs on Products from China

On Tuesday, May 29, it was announced that the administration would proceed with its Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 proposal to impose a 25% tariff on selected Chinese goods. This is approximately 10 days after declaring that the tariffs would be placed on hold. To clarify this rapidly changing situation regarding tariffs, below is an outline of important points and a timeline of pertinent events. 

  • August, 2017 — upon request by the administration, the U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) started a Section 301 investigation. The USTR investigation sought to determine whether China’s laws, practices, policies, or actions are unreasonable or discriminatory, and thus harm American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.
  • March 22, 2018 — USTR released a final report and proposed a 25% duty on China-made goods. (No tariff information was provided.)
  • March 22, 2018 — the administration announced that the U.S. intends to impose a 25% duty on specific China-made goods.
  • April 3, 2018 — USTR released a notice which included a proposed list of over 1,300 tariff lines subject to the 25% tariffs.

    Impacted Products
    The proposed list of products to be subject to the additional 25% duty, which equals more than $50 billion in trade value, is extensive and covers goods in a number of different industries. Products are identified by eight-digit tariff items, many of which fall in Chapters 84, 85 and 90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Many of the covered products include:
    –  Organic chemicals
    –  Pharmaceuticals
    –  Iron, steel, and aluminum
    –  Turbines, engines, motors, and aerospace
    –  Pumps, compressors, and machinery and equipment
    –  Scales
    –  Construction and agricultural equipment
    –  Textile machines
    –  Computer equipment and accessories
    –  Electrical equipment and transformers
    –  Measuring and checking instruments
  • May 11, 2018 — deadline for written comments regarding the proposed 1,300+ tariff line items.
  • May 15, 2018 — public hearing was conducted.
  • May 22, 2018 — deadline for post-hearing rebuttal comments.
  • June 2, 2018 — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to meet with Chinese officials in Beijing to discuss bilateral trade matters.
  • June 15, 2018 — the administration finalizes its list of tariff lines (it already hinted at tech products such as TVs and medical devices).
  • June 30, 2018 — the U.S. will put measures in place to prevent Chinese acquisitions of American technology.

Please note that the final tariff lines (HTSUS numbers) impacted by this Section 301 have not yet been determined. Once this process has concluded and the USTR has published the full list of tariff lines, MIQ will share the information in a Supply Chain Alert. We encourage you to work with your local MIQ team to identify products being impacted.

For more information, please contact your local MIQ Logistics representative.