On May 17, 2019, the President of the United States issued a proclamation directing the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to pursue negotiations with the European Union, Japan and any other country the Trade Representative deems appropriate in order to address the threat to U.S. national security identified by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) Secretary. A decision to impose new tariffs on imports of automobiles and auto parts will be delayed for 180 days while the USTR pursues these negotiations.
On Friday, May 17, 2019, the United States announced the elimination of all steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and Mexico, effective May 20, 2019. In joint statements with the United States, Canada and Mexico also agreed to eliminate all retaliatory tariffs against the U.S.
Importers are experiencing large increases in their annual customs bond amounts due to the sanctions that have been implemented on their products. Generally, bond amounts are calculated at 10% of the total amount of duty, taxes and fees paid in the previous 12 months OR calculated based on duties estimated for the next 12 months. Many of the bonds that traditionally fell below the minimum $50K amount have now more than doubled. Increased anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) add an additional layer of complexity to these bond amounts and extend the time frames that entries remain open.
On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a fourth Notice of Product Exclusions to Section 301 List 1 products currently subject to a 25 percent tariff.
With retail sales rising and President Trump saying he plans to both increase and broaden tariffs on goods from China, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see unusually high levels the remainder of this spring and through the summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases and new tariffs will mean higher costs for U.S. businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers. We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and we hope the negotiations will get back on track. It would be unfortunate to undermine the progress that has been made with more tit-for-tat tariffs that only punish Americans.”
On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the Federal Register published a Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office increasing the rate of the additional duty from 10 percent to 25 percent on the $200 billion in List 3 products imported from China. The increase is effective Friday, May 10, 2019.
Effective Date Specifics
The Federal Register notice amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the U.S. to provide that the tariff increase for these List 3 products will be effective with respect to goods:
- entered for consumption or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01am EDT time on May 10, 2019; and
- exported to the U.S., on or after May 10, 2019.
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, the President of the United States threatened to move forward with increasing the List 3 China Tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in imports from China, effective Friday, May 10, 2019. This is a change in the administration’s position from their February 24th decision to postpone the increase indefinitely.
The president also noted that an additional 25% tariff on all remaining products imported from China (valued at $325 billion) would be implemented “shortly.” A specific date and hearing process have not been announced for this new fourth list of products.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April, and the overall economy grew for the 120th consecutive month, say the nations supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.