After extensive trade talks with China ended without an agreement on May 10, 2019, President Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. China retaliated three days later, announcing new tariffs on $60 billion of American exports. These new tariffs on American goods will take effect on June 1, 2019. The White House is now threatening to levy 25 percent tariffs on all goods imported from China not yet subjected to Section 301 tariffs. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on May 13, 2019, released a list of $300 billion of Chinese imports that it is proposing to be subject to 25 percent duties. The additional products listed in the May 13 announcement effectively cover most of the remaining U.S. imports from China, including the following categories:
- Agricultural and food products, including meat, dairy, produce, and alcohol;
- Industrial chemicals, minerals, and other raw materials;
- Live animals including livestock, insects, and birds;
- Steel and aluminum products currently excluded from List 1 duties during the comment period but subject to additional duties under Section 232;
- Other base metals;
- Textiles and apparel, including footwear;
- Household goods;
- Jewelry, gemstones, and precious metals;
- Machinery, computers, televisions, and other electronics;
- Vehicles including motorcycles, watercraft, and aircraft;
- Numerous categories of scrap and waste materials;
- Firearms, ammunition, and other weapons;
- Recreational equipment;
- Personal hygiene and grooming items; and
- Books and artwork.
Numerous Harmonized Tariffs Schedule (HTS) subheadings that were removed via the comment and hearing process from the $34 billion (“List 1”), $16 billion (“List 2”) and $200 billion (“List 3”) lists are included in the new $300 billion list (“List 4”). However, the notice states that products excluded via the formal exclusion process for Lists 1 and 2 will not be affected. Nevertheless, if your product was excluded from either List 1 or 2 (as opposed to being removed via the comment and hearing process), we recommend checking to see that the products were not inadvertently included on List 4. The proposed tariffs will be in addition to any existing customs duties and antidumping and countervailing duties. USTR will be holding a notice-and-comment period, with the following key dates:
June 10, 2019: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing.
June 17, 2019: Due date for submission of written comments.
June 17, 2019: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC that begins at 9:30 a.m. The duration of the hearing has not yet been determined, and the hearing may last for more than one day. Post-hearing rebuttal comments are due seven days after the last day of the hearing, likely during the week of Monday, June 24, 2019.