On Monday, September 17, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) finalized and released the list of imported products from China (approximately $200 billion) for which additional tariffs are to be collected. According to President Trump, the initial tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018 at a rate of 10 percent. At the direction of the President, he has instructed the USTR to, “increase the level of trade covered by the additional duties in order to obtain elimination of China’s unfair policies.” Subsequently starting on January 1, 2019 this will increase to 25 percent.
The 194-page revised list contains 5,745 individual HTSUS codes trimmed down from the original 6,031 tariff codes from the proposed tariff list that was announced on July 10, 2018. Products removed from the original list consist of “electronic products such as smart watches and Bluetooth devices; certain chemical inputs for manufactured goods, textiles and agriculture; certain health and safety products such as bicycle helmets, and child safety furniture such as car seats and playpens.” Of the products listed on the tariff list, Husch Blackwell played an instrumental role in the removal of a chemical product and educational articles that were critical to the operations of two of our clients.
President Trump’s statement on the tariff list stated: “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”
There was also an indication in President Trump’s statement that there potentially is a “List 4 of $267 billion additional tariffs,” if China were to respond with retaliatory tariffs of their own.
In response to President Trump’s new list of tariffs released Monday evening, the Chinese government announced Tuesday morning that they will impose tariffs up to 10 percent, “on an additional $60 billion in American goods,” once Trump’s tariffs take effect on September 24, 2018.