U.S. Issues Tariffs on Chinese Products

The U.S. issues a 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products in response to unfair trade practices, under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of products imported from China that will be subject to additional tariffs as part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property. The list of products issued today covers 1,102 separate U.S. tariff lines valued at approximately $50 billion in 2018 trade values. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect 25 percent tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6.

The U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement:

In light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the United States will implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies. This includes goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries. The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices. These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs.

In response, China has decided to impose additional duties of 25 percent on 659 items of U.S. products worth about 50 billion U.S. dollars, according to the official news agency Xinhua. Additional tariffs for 545 items worth about 34 billion U.S. dollars, including agricultural products, vehicles and aquatic products, will be effective from July 6, 2018, according to a statement of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council. The implementation date for imposing additional tariffs on the remaining 114 items, covering chemical products, medical equipment and energy products, will be announced later.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, China is the United States’ largest trading partner, accounting for $635 billion in trade. The U.S. deficit with China hit a record high last year at $375.2 billion. According to the USTR, the two lists focus on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles. The lists do not include goods commonly purchased by U.S. consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today said in a statement:

Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers. This is not the right approach. The U.S. Chamber has vocally opposed using tariffs – and promoted working with allies – as a way to address China’s trade and investment policies and practices:

Davie Stephens, Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA) said:

China imports roughly 60 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, representing nearly 1 in 3 rows of harvested soybeans. This is a vital and robust market that soy growers have spent over 40 years building and, frankly, it’s not a market U.S. soybean farmers can afford to lose. As the country’s leading agricultural export at $27 billion, trade is vital for soybean growers and, while China has not yet directly retaliated against imports of U.S. soybeans, it seems imminent. American Soybean Association (ASA) continues to advocate for increased trade opportunities, not trade-reducing tariffs, to help boost agriculture industries and rural communities in the current down farm economy

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement:

There is no question that China cheats and that its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft are hurting America’s manufacturing workers. To put an end to these threats and redefine the U.S.– China economic relationship, manufacturers are calling for a new path forward: a fair, binding, enforceable bilateral trade agreement. This approach would end fears of a trade war, get China to play by the rules and secure manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Manufacturers certainly have concerns that tariffs will cause more problems than they solve, but we also recognize that the administration may intend to use them as a negotiating tactic to bring China to the table and achieve larger goals. A trade war never benefits anyone, so rather than pursuing a piecemeal tariffs approach, now is the time to seize the opportunity before us and work toward a U.S.– China trade agreement that will benefit American workers for generations to come.