…When you plant your trees in another man’s orchard, don’t be surprised when you pay for your own apples…
President Trump has instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to execute Round Two of tariffs on Chinese imports. The first round applied to $50 billion in products. The current round applies a 10% tariff to $200 billion (effective Sept. 24, 2018), until January 1st, 2019, when the tariff increases to 25%.
The list of products is particularly focused, and happily we note it includes almost all Chinese processed food imports.
Chinese food processing is sketchy, and China has refused to comply with most international food safety programs. However, President Trump spared smart watches from Apple and Fitbit and other consumer products such as bicycle helmets and baby car seats.
In a statement announcing the Round-Two tariffs, President Trump warned China if they take retaliatory action against U.S. farmers or industries, “we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.” That would hit Apple and all consumer good imports. Here’s the announcement and the list of products:
Washington, DC – As part of the United States’ continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released a list of approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to additional tariffs.
In accordance with the direction of President Trump, the additional tariffs will be effective starting September 24, 2018, and initially will be in the amount of 10 percent. Starting January 1, 2019, the level of the additional tariffs will increase to 25 percent.
The list contains 5,745 full or partial lines of the original 6,031 tariff lines that were on a proposed list of Chinese imports announced on July 10, 2018.
[…] In March 2018, USTR released the findings of its exhaustive Section 301 investigation that found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.
Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:
- China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
- China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
- China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
- China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
- After separate notice and comment proceedings, in June and August USTR released two lists of Chinese imports, with a combined annual trade value of approximately $50 billion, with the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s harmful acts, policies and practices.
Unfortunately, China has been unwilling to change its policies involving the unfair acquisition of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Instead, China responded to the United States’ tariff action by taking further steps to harm U.S. workers and businesses. In these circumstances, the President has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to increase the level of trade covered by the additional duties in order to obtain elimination of China’s unfair policies. The Administration will continue to encourage China to allow for fair trade with the United States.
A formal notice of the $200 billion tariff action will be published shortly in the Federal Register. (read more)
A PDF list of the Round #2 impacted products is Available HERE.
As expected, Beijing did not waste much time responding to Trump’s latest tariffs, and moments ago China issued a statement disclosing what its planned retaliation would look like.