China reduces tariffs; U.S. postpones tariff increases ahead of negotiations

The U.S. and China return to the negotiating table in October to continue addressing trade issues. In the meantime, as a goodwill gesture for China’s 70th anniversary, the U.S. delayed until Oct. 15 the planned Oct. 1 increase from 25- to 30-percent on Section 301 tariffs on $250 billion of goods on Lists 1-3.

Also, China waived tariffs on 16 classes of U.S. products for one year, including oils, whey protein, fish meal, shrimp and prawn seedlings. The exemptions went into effect Sept. 17.

Multiple media outlets report that China proposes to divide the October negotiations into two tracks, one focused on trade issues and another of national-security issues including intellectual property and U.S. companies’ access to Chinese markets.

As a recap, following is the current status of Section 301 tariffs:

  • Tariffs on items on Lists 1, 2 and 3 are 25 percent; tariffs on List 4A are 15 percent.
  • Effective Oct. 15, tariffs on items on Lists 1, 2 and 3 increase to 30 percent.
  • Effective Dec. 15, tariffs on items on list 4B go into effect at 15 percent.

Work continues in the U.S. to secure exclusions to items subject to Section 301 tariffs.

  • The complete list of List 1 and 2 exclusions secured by NAFEM is available here.
  • The USTR also announced an exclusion process for items on List 3 that includes about 6,000 items. Exclusion requests must be submitted via the new online portal before Sept. 30.
  • An exclusion process for List 4 has not been announced.