Trade negotiations with China continue
In mid-December, the White House announced a Phase One trade deal with China. The new agreement leaves the current 25 percent Section 301 tariffs on Lists 1, 2 and 3 untouched. These are the tariffs that most substantially impact NAFEM members and other manufacturers. It reduces the tariffs on List 4A from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. List 4A tariffs primarily impact the smallwares side of the industry. The new agreement also further postpones the planned Dec. 15 List 4B tariffs, which largely affect consumer electronics and apparel. More information is available in the Federal Register notice and this fact sheet from the United States Trade Representative.
China agreed to reforms addressing intellectual property and technology, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. It also committed to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services, and to establish a process to quickly resolve trade disputes. President Trump tweeted that Phase Two trade talks will begin before the 2020 election. According to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, no date has been set.
It is important that NAFEM members continue to voice their opposition to the tariffs with elected officials. Here is a complete list of Congressional Representatives and their contact information.