Despite Phase One deal, most China import tariffs remain

The U.S.-China Phase One trade deal went into effect Feb. 14. The 25 percent Section 301 tariffs on Lists 12 and 3 that most substantially impact NAFEM members are untouched. Tariffs on List 4A that primarily impact the smallwares side of the industry decreased from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. List 4B tariffs that primarily affect consumer electronics and apparel are suspended indefinitely. In return, China announced plans to reduce by half its tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. merchandise. China also agreed to new purchases of U.S. agricultural products, energy, and manufactured goods and services totaling $200 billion over the next two years.

Product exclusion requests for List 4A were due Jan. 29. Exclusions for items on Lists 1, 2 and 3 are expiring and not automatically renewed. Christine Sohar Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg, recommends carefully monitoring the United States Trade Representative’s website and the Federal Register to avoid inadvertently using an expired exclusion.

Sohar Henter also cautions that the Phase One trade deal may be compromised due to the U.S. Department of Commerce initiating antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against China.