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China Tariff Hearings Wrap Up, Additional Tariffs Take Effect

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) last week held hearings on a proposed list of $200 billion in Chinese imports that could face tariffs as high as 25 percent. If levied, the proposed tariffs would cover a host of Chinese electronics, textiles, fish, produce, metal products and auto parts. China, in turn, announced it would retaliate with tariffs ranging from five to 25 percent on $60 billion of U.S. imports to the country should the U.S. move ahead with levying tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

U.S. hides, skins and leather products, which have thus far not been targeted for tariff retaliation by China or any other trading partner, were included in China’s proposed retaliation lists. The U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association submitted comments to USTR emphasizing the detrimental impact of the Administration’s proposed tariffs and Chinese retaliatory actions on the meat and poultry and hide, skin and leather industries.

In addition, the U.S. on August 23 imposed additional 25 percent tariffs on approximately $16 billion worth of Chinese imports containing industrially-significant technologies, including those related to the country’s “Made in China 2025” industrial policy. The tariffs are in response to findings from an investigation into China’s industrial and intellectual property policies under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. China responded with tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports to the country.

This latest escalation occurred as a Chinese delegation, led by Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, met with U.S. negotiators, led by Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass, to discuss ways to quell ongoing trade tensions.

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