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September 23, 2019

U.S. Announces Tariffs Exemptions On Chinese Products, While Aluminum Foil Penalties Might Have To Be Reconsidered

The Trump administration announced late last week that it will temporarily exempt more than 400 Chinese goods from the 25 percent tariffs that are already in place. While the exempted products mostly are consumer goods, including straws, electric skateboards and holiday lights, the list also includes steel and aluminum products, including steel wire for barbecue grill tops and aluminum radiators for automobiles. Click here, here and here to read the three official announcements published in the Federal Registerwhich discuss and outline the exemptions.

The Trump administration’s announcement came as the United States and China restarted trade talks in Washington, D.C. Last week’s discussions only considered agricultural issues and included Chinese Vice Minister for Finance Liao Min and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish participating.

In a statement, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the discussions were “productive.” Last week’s negotiations precede talks in October between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

In related news: on September 18, the Court of International Trade ruled the Trump administration must reconsider, and possibly lower, anti-subsidy duties on certain imports of aluminum foil from China. The U.S. imported an estimated $389 million worth of aluminum foil from China in 2016. It began imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on these imports in 2018.

As a reminder, MSCI supported the Aluminum Association antidumping and countervailing duty petition to the Trump administration regarding imports of certain aluminum foil from China. Click here to read more.