NAFEM submits comments on behalf of industry on expanded Section 301 China tariffs

NAFEM provided testimony and submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) about the potential impact on the industry of proposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional approximately $300 billion in Chinese imports. Once the USTR finalizes this list – List 4 – tariffs of 10- to 25-percent are expected to impact nearly all Chinese imports to the U.S.

In its comments to the USTR, NAFEM stated that, “The tariffs are not a black and white issue, even some members that rely less on imports of Chinese inputs reported as much as a 19% increase in costs of materials. Between the Section 301 tariffs (and Section 232 tariffs on imported steel/aluminum), our members – even ones using only domestic products – are taking a real hit, and each incremental increase places an additional tax on the very same companies these policies are supposed to help.”

NAFEM President Joe Carlson, CFSP, president, Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., added, “Even members who do not directly import from China likely have component parts and other items imported from the country in their supply chains and could feel the ripple effects of these new tariffs.”

The full series of List 4 products subject to the new proposed tariffs is available here. Items on this list include smallwares; cast iron, steel and aluminum; tools, machinery and electronics. List 4 tariffs are expected to be finalized as soon as the end of June, following a rebuttal period.

The USTR has yet to issue an exclusion process for List 3 that includes items like electronic circuit boards, computer chips and chemicals that may be used to manufacture commercial foodservice equipment and supplies. Information on the current exclusion processes and items on lists 1 and 2 excluded from import tariffs is available here.