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July 23, 2018

U.S. President Promises More Tariffs On China

The U.S. government is not pulling back at all from its efforts to rebalance global trade. In fact, in an interview last week with CNBC, President Donald Trump said he is “ready” to impose penalties on every Chinese good imported to the United States. (U.S. imports from China currently total $505 billion annually.) The president’s new threat came after the Chinese government formally filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging the tariffs the United States already has placed on Chinese goods.

The U.S. government currently is accepting applications for exemptions to the tariffs it already has placed on Chinese goods. On July 18, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative clarified the types of information that companies should – and should not – include in product exclusion applications. The guidance said applications should

  • Include a comprehensive physical description of the product (weight, dimensions, composition), but should not focus on the product’s intended end-use;
  • Shouldn’t be based on trade names, subjective terms, or on criteria that cannot easily be verified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel;
  • Provide more details for specific types of products, including rules for products that include sets of items, mixed components/materials, or that are subsidiaries of larger articles, as well as chemical products; and
  • Include new proposed tariff language that would differentiate the excluded products from others, and should include correct tariff code references and references to any past CBP rulings.

This product exclusion process, which Connecting the Dots also discussed last week, applies only to the $34 billion worth of Chinese imports that the United States imposed 25 percent tariffs on starting July 6. It does not apply to an additional $16 billion in products that the United States still has yet to apply 25 percent tariffs to, or to the $200 billion in products its threatened with 10 percent tariffs.