Yesterday, our Beau Jackson, Robert Stang and Linda Tiller joined manufacturers, distributors and service providers in Kansas City for a discussion about the impact of tariffs on the business community. This insightful program included economic, industry and legal perspectives on current trade conditions and the various implications of recently-imposed tariffs. Pictured at right, Beau Jackson closed the event with these key takeaways:

  1. The United States is 80% a “consumer” economy – compared to a global average of approximately 40% (and 60% in Germany). Yet, U.S. trade policy seems to focus on raw materials and industrial manufacturing, rather than consumer-driven considerations.
  2. Finding qualified labor is a much more pressing and difficult issue for manufacturers than tariffs or trade policy
  3. Rising logistics and supply chain costs have become just as troublesome to companies as tariffs
  4. Carrier consolidation and new alliances in the shipping industry continue to adversely impact companies that import and export, and is complicating matters at U.S. ports of entry
  5. Tariff avoidance led to an import surge in late 2018, which furthered port congestion, inflated storage costs and has created large inventory surpluses that could soon have macroeconomic implications
  6. Supply Chain “Recalibration” – companies  and sourcing agents are trying to avoid China by finding new sources in Southeast Asia (particularly Vietnam and the Philippines)
  7. The recent government shutdown had a tangible impact on the day-to-day fundamentals of trade
  8. Good infrastructure, just like product quality and reputation, has been instrumental in fostering a robust U.S. economy.  Modernizing infrastructure is a must for the U.S. to remain competitive.

 

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met to discuss trade relations between the two countries. Following their meeting, President Trump indicated that he would postpone increasing the tariff rate to 25% on certain Chinese goods worth up to $200 billion currently covered under Section 301 List 3. This increase was originally slated for January 1, 2019 (see our previous post here).  The 10% duties on that $200 million in goods will remain in effect, however, as will the 25% tariffs on the goods worth about $50 billion, which appear on the first and second list of additional duties. According to the White House press statement, the parties agreed to “endeavor” on a 90-day period, until March 1, 2019, to discuss the restructuring of China’s trade policies and come to an agreement. Continue Reading President Trump Holds Off on Increase of Section 301 Tariffs

cargo shipOn October 18, 2018, Petitioners Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. and Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Polyester Textured Yarn from the People’s Republic of China and India. Continue Reading Petition Summary: Polyester Textured Yarn from China and India

On October 11, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced that it is initiating antidumping duty investigations on Refillable Stainless Steel Kegs from Germany, Mexico, and the People’s Republic of China and concurrently initiating a countervailing duty investigation on imports from China. Continue Reading Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Refillable Stainless Steel Kegs from Germany, Mexico, and China

Globe showing Asia

On September 17, 2018, USTR finalized a list of 5,745 imported products from China (referred to as “List 3”) for which additional tariffs are to be collected starting September 24, 2018 at a rate of 10 percent, rising to 25 percent starting January 1, 2019. The value of List 3 goods is estimated at approximately $200 billion. The Federal Register notice for this announcement was published on Friday, September 21, 2018 and differs somewhat from the Section 301 tariff announcements previously published for List 1 and List 2. Continue Reading Will there be an Exclusion Process for Section 301 List 3 Products?

On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a process for obtaining product exclusions from the 25% tariffs on certain products imported from China as a response to the Section 301 investigation on China’s trade practices. Continue Reading USTR Announces New Process for Exclusion Requests on 2nd Round of Section 301 Tariffs on China

Globe showing Asia

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. Continue Reading New Section 301 Tariffs Released with Few Exemptions Granted