US finalises second tranche of China tariffs
In a statement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today (8 August), the US said the second tranche of additional tariffs under Section 301 is part of its response to China's "unfair trade practices" related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.
It follows the first tranche of tariffs on about $34bn of imports from China, which went into effect on 6 July.
The list contains 279 of the original 284 tariff lines that were on a proposed list announced on 15 June. Changes to the proposed list were made after USTR and the interagency Section 301 Committee sought and received written comments and testimony during a two-day public hearing last month. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on the Chinese imports on August 23 – with the action completing the first wave of imposed additional duties on some $50bn worth of imports from China.
US retailers have not welcomed the latest round of tariffs, noting they throw away the benefits of tax reform. "This is just another step toward throwing away the benefits of tax reform that have given our nation's economy a badly needed boost," said National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO Matthew Shay. "These tariffs might be part of an effort to bring about fair trade with China, but as we've said before all we have seen so far is a huge risk for American consumers and workers with no endgame in sight. It's time to stop digging a deeper hole while we can still climb out."
Meanwhile, a 25% tariff Increase on $200bn worth of imports from China into the US is still under consideration; while China has threatened to impose new tariffs of up to 25% on around $60bn of US imports – bringing clothing items into the worsening trade war for the first time.