US and China Threatened Tariff Lists (with July 6 to Impose First Wave)
A contact at NAM has generously shared what may be the best update on the US-China tariff threats, and has agreed it can shared with our AgTC membership.
It shows the specific tariff lines that the US is threatening against China’s exports to the US, and in both Chinese and English the tariff lines that China is now threatening against US exports.
Following a statement by the President last Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) formally released updated lists of products potentially subject to 25 percent tariffs under its Section 301 investigation into Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer issues. The Chinese government responded almost immediately, issuing their own lists of products that would be subject to a similar 25 percent tariff on a similar timeframe and stating that any agreements the two sides had reached would “no longer be valid.”
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons responded immediately and robustly to the Friday announcement with a direct statement emphasizing that while there is “no question” of China’s problematic behavior, “manufacturers are calling for a new path forward” with “a fair, binding, enforceable bilateral trade agreement” – not a trade war or “piecemeal tariffs approach” that “that will cause more problems than they solve.” The NAM has been active and vocal in recent weeks raising its voice on behalf of manufacturers impacted here, through oral testimony, written submissions, and direct engagement with the administration and Congress.
The NAM has been working directly with members large and small on the impact of these tariffs on both their operations and the long-term issues that manufacturers face in China. We interested in hearing directly from you on these topics; please contact Linda Dempsey and Ryan Ong directly.
USTR Revamps China 301 Tariff List, Announces Public Comment Process for New Items, Exclusion Process
USTR proposes additional $200 billion of Chinese goods targeted for an additional tariff of 10%. The new proposed list begins on page 11 and continues to page 205. There will be a public comment period and a hearing in late August and the official list will be published after that.
List 1 (slated to go into effect on July 6), which includes 818 tariff lines for Chinese imports worth $34 billion on which 25 percent tariffs would be imposed, and List 2 (implementation date uncertain), which includes 284 proposed tariff lines for Chinese imports worth $16 billion that will go through a public comment and hearing process before they could be imposed.
- Scope of Products: The two lists together are focused almost entirely on manufactured products, with an even greater focus on industrial manufacturing products than the earlier draft. The focus remains on products that may benefit from Chinese industrial policies, with China’s Made in China 2025 as the big focus. According to USTR’s notice, the targets included industries such as industrial machinery, automobiles, aerospace, robotics, and information technology, though excludes “goods commonly purchased by American consumers.” The two lists, taken together, include a number of changes to the original April list, including:
- Complete or near complete removal of products such as:
- Pharmaceutical products (HTS codes starting with 29 and 30), fully removed;
- Arms and ammunition (93), fully removed;
- Radioactive chemicals and isotopes (28), removed except for one tariff line;
- Rubber (40), removed except for pneumatic tires; and
- Iron, steel and aluminum (72, 73, 76, 83), with earlier proposed items fully removed but replaced with eight new items related to structural use of iron, steel and aluminum.
- Retention or expansion of key product areas relevant for manufacturers such as:
- Rail locomotives and equipment (86), which added 14 additional tariff lines to the full list of items from the initial list;
- Automotive and vehicle parts (87), which removed a few items (such as snowmobiles and some motorcycles) but added new items such as tractors, mobile cranes, and a few other areas;
- Aerospace products and parts (88) and ships and boats (89), largely intact and with a few small additions such as floating docks;
- Nuclear equipment and other machinery (84) and electrical machinery and equipment (85), with removal of items such as some hand tools and textile machinery but the addition of various agricultural and high-tech machinery; and
- Optical, measurement and medical instruments and parts (90), where many consumer-oriented medical and dental equipment was removed but replaced by products such as multimeters, optical fibers, and speedometers.
- Addition of new items, particularly plastics (39) (more than half of the new list), lubricating oils and greases (27, 34 and 38), and glass rods (70) on top of the additions mentioned above.
- Timeline and Process: USTR’s notice makes clear several interrelated timelines:
- Products on List 1 would go into effect beginning on July 6, with USTR’s notice making clear the Customs and Border Protection would begin to collect the proposed duties on that date.
- Products on List 2 would go through a roughly 45-day formal public comment and hearing process, with specific deadlines for requests to testify (June 29) for the July 24 public hearing, for written submissions (July 20), and for post-hearing submissions or rebuttals (July 31). The notice did not provide explicit dates for when List 2 would be finalized or when those tariffs might go into effect.
- These lists may not be the end of potential tariffs, given language in the June 15 presidential statement indicating that the United States “will pursue additional tariffs” if China retaliates, language that echoes an April White House statement that the administration may be considering tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese products.
- USTR’s notice indicates that there would be opportunities for companies to request exclusion of specific products, set to be released in a separate Federal Register notice not yet released.
- Guidance for Submissions: USTR’s notice for this round of tariffs is more explicit and focused than the earlier notice, and asks for commenters to focus on whether the tariffs on List 2 products “would be practicable or effective to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices” or “would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small- or medium-sized businesses and consumers.”
- Unlike the earlier round, USTR is also requesting that those requesting to testify include explicit mention of which tariff lines they are commenting on.
- Companies wanting to submit business confidential information can certify portions of their submission as “business confidential,” though they must also provide a public version of their submission.
China Strikes Back with Tariff Lists that Match U.S. in Scale and Implementation Timeline
The Chinese government responded to the U.S. move immediately, taking a strong rhetorical line against the United States move as “undermining the world trade order” and announcing its own tariffs on U.S. exports to China totaling roughly $50 billion in trade. As with USTR’s announced tariffs, the 25 percent tariff would be applied to roughly $50 billion of U.S. exports in these product categories, divided into two lists — List 1 (Chinese) (slated to go into effect, like the U.S. list, on July 6), which includes 545 tariff lines for U.S. exports worth $34 billion on which 25 percent tariffs would be imposed, and List 2 (Chinese) (implementation date uncertain), which includes 114 proposed tariff lines for Chinese imports worth $16 billion.
The two lists together reflect a broad range of products, and largely build off the earlier draft list released in April by adding new products. As with the earlier draft list, the NAM has compiled unofficial translations of these lists (List 1 in English; List 2 in English) as a non-authoritative guide to the types of products included, and will be conducting additional analysis of the trade and member impact. The two new lists collectively include all of the items on China’s April draft list, with the exemption of one tariff line on aircraft (88024010). Among the products included:
List 1 (set to be imposed on July 6)
- Meat, seafood and animal products (02-05, 16), which saw a major expansion from just beef to include pork, chicken and other poultry, seafood, and dairy products;
- Agricultural products (07-08, 10-12, 14, 20, 24, 52), which also expanded beyond soybeans, corn, sorghum and cotton to also include a range of fruit, nuts, and other grains and animal feed;
- Automobiles (87), unchanged from the earlier draft with hybrid and non-hybrid SUVs and small passenger cars; and
- Alcoholic products (22), which added denatured spirits to earlier included items such as whiskey and brewing/distilling dregs.
List 2 (proposed for implementation but without a specific date)
- Mineral oils and fuels (27), with a significant expansion beyond propane to include products such as crude oil, coke, tar and pitch, and other liquid and solid fuels;
- Chemical and related rubber products (29, 34-35, 38, 40), unchanged from the earlier list; and
- Optical, measurement and medical instruments and parts (90), with newly added medical devices such as MRI equipment, patient monitors, and ophthalmology equipment.
Along with the updated lists, China’s Ministry of Commerce responded with strong statements, asserting (in Chinese) that the United States is “provoking a trade war” and “undermining the world trade order,” that it planned to “immediately introduce levies of the same scale and strength,” and that “all economic and trade outcomes to which the two parties had agreed to” would be “invalid.” Such statements make the next steps on potential negotiations unclear. USTR Robert Lighthizer on Friday stated, “We hope that this leads to further negotiations and we hope it leads to China changing its policies, at least with respect to us, and opening up their market.” However, neither side has made any concrete announcements made by either side about bilateral negotiations on outcomes other than tariffs, making it unclear how and when the two sides may next engage to resolve outstanding issues versus escalating tariffs.
Again, thank you to National Association of Manufacturers for this timely work to translate the latest list issued by China, and for sharing it with the AgTC membership.