Will the new US/China trade war truce lead to a trade deal?

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Two big newsworthy events happened over the weekend at the G20 summit. First, Trump said US companies could supply to Huawei (waiting for official guidance at the moment) and second, the US and China agreed to not enact any further tariffs (current proposed Section 301 List 4 duties) in the near future and to start a new round on trade talks.

This may sound like Groundhog Day, and it partially is. Last year at the Argentina G20 summit, Trump and Xi also reached a similar agreement. And the differences that prevented a deal to be reached in Argentina also exist today. Key issues such as intellectual property and China’s 2025 plan are two areas where the two countries still do not reach a consensus.

With an election looming a little over a year away, Trump may be waiting until after next November before moving forward with a final deal – in the meantime, Trump says the US is already benefiting from the tariffs as the US is “taking in a fortune”.

If you have any questions about any of the 232 or 301 duties and how they may impact your business. Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

American New Balance shoe manufacturer opposes expanding China duties.

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While New Balance in the past supported a tough trade policy in 2016, the American shoe manufacturer is now taking an about face as it imports a majority of its components from China.

While New Balance manufacturers about 4 million pairs of shoes a year in the US, it relies on the importation of components in order to do so – and a majority of those components are from China. New Balance claims the parts they need that are covered under “List 4” are no longer available in the United States.

A letter from New Balance indicated the new tariffs would impact their ability to reinvest and manufacture shoes in the US. New Balance will join more than 300 executives from other companies to testify against the List 4 goods this week.

Will post more news from the hearings starting tomorrow as they become available. If you have questions whether your imports will be covered under “List 4”, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump hints at delay of additional duties originally set for March 1st.

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According to CNBC, President Trump says he will delay additional China tariffs originally scheduled to start on March 1. In a series of posts on Twitter, President Trump indicated a delay for the imposition of “List 3” of duties under Section 301 because of “substantial progress” in trade talks currently underway between the US and China.

While the tweets hint at a delay, there was no hint of a revised deadline to reach an agreement with China. Time will tell whether the US and China can reach an agreement on the key issues of intellectual property protection and forced technology transfer.

In other news, a late March meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will likely occur at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida.

More updates will be posted as they became available.

List 3 Exclusion Process?

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Last October, 10 10 senators sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) inquiring why a List 3 exclusion process had not yet been established. As you are aware, an exclusion process allows importers or interested parties of goods subject to the Section 301 duties to petition to have their goods excluded from the tariffs of 10-25%.

Earlier this week, the USTR replied indicating an exclusion process will not start on List 3 unless negotiations fail with China and the tariffs are raised on the $200 billion worth of goods from 10 to 25%. Both China and the US have agreed to a “truce” until March 2, 2019.

Will update as soon as any updates are available. If you have any trade, import, export, trade or compliance attorneys, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com

US and China exchange tariff duties in trade war.

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Sorry for the lack of updates, Trump’s 232 and 301 duties have been occupying most of my time.

As you likely already know, yesterday, the Trump administration announced they will impose 10% duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, earlier today, China announced retaliatory duties on $60 billion in US goods.

If you import from China and have questions about commenting, exclusion requests or other alternatives to minimize the tariff penalty – feel free to give me a call, 832.896.6288 or email me at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Vinyl manufacturers and importers at odds over upcoming tariffs on Chinese vinyl imports.

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Two US vinyl flooring manufacturers testified in support of the 25% tariffs at an August 21st meeting in Washington with the United States Trade Representative.

According to testimony from one of the leaders of one of the vinyl floor manufacturers, 55 to 70% of the vinyl flooring is from Asia and China alone exported $1.7 billion of vinyl flooring into the US.

On the other hand, two importers of vinyl flooring and tile argued the higher prices would hurt consumers and not change the use of Chinese industrial policies like forced technology transfer and the “Made in China 2025 program”. Specifically, the vinyl flooring importers argued duties would raise home prices, impacting lower and middle income Americans the most. In other words, duties on vinyl flooring hurt low and middle class Americans while having no effect on China’s trade practices.

If you are interested in filing comments or an exclusion to any of the upcoming duties, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Current US Tariff Action Deadlines

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I receive many questions about the deadlines for all the various tariff actions, I thought I’d post all the upcoming deadlines for your convenience.

If you have any questions regarding any 301 or 232 duties or are interested in filing of comments or an exclusion, or need assistance filing a response to comments, feel free to contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

August 20-23 – Public hearing in DC for List 3

August 23, 2018 – 25% duty effective on List 2

September 6, 2018 – deadline to submit written comments for List 3

September 6, 2018 – deadline to submit post-hearing rebuttal comments

October 9, 2018 – deadline for product-specific exclusions for List 1

14 days after request for exclusion posted on docket – deadline for responses to requests for product-specific exclusion.

7 days after the close of response period – deadline for responses filed during the 14-day response period.

To Be Announced – 10% or 25% duty on List 3

USTR finalizes “List 2” of Section 301 duties on Chinese goods – tariffs begin on August 23rd.

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The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a bulletin today finalizing “List 2” of the tariffs of Chinese products known as “Section 301” duties.

List 2 goods will be subject to an additional 25% tariff on goods from China starting August 23rd. Out of the 284 proposed tariff lines, only 5 tariff lines were removed by the USTR.

List 2 covers approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China. The Section 301 duties are the US response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.

List 1 went into effect on July 6th and covered about $34 billion of imports from China.

There is no word on when List 3 will be finalized but based on 1 and 2, I believe sometime in December 2018.

If you are importing a good subject to the 301 duties, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu for a free legal consultation on what our firm can do for you: attorney.dave@yahoo.com or 832.896.6288.

GM applies for tariff exemption on their Buick Envision manufactured in China and subject to a 25% duty.

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According to Reuters, General Motors (GM) is seeking to apply for a tariff exclusion on their Chinese-made Buick Envision. As the Buick Envision is made in China, imports of the vehicle to the US would be subject to a 25% tariff. According to the same article, sales of the Buick Envision total 19% of Buick brand sales in 2017.

According to GM authority, the automaker has currently sold 16,814 Envisions so far in 2018.

The tariff exclusions are also known as the “Section 301” tariff exclusions. Reuters cites the GM’s argument in the filing: “to invest in our U.S. manufacturing facilities and to develop the next generation of automotive technology in the United States” and that “assembly in our home market is not an option” due to low US sales numbers.

Besides applying for a Section 301 exclusion, GM shipped in a six-month supply of Envisions at the current 2.5% tariffs.

Will followup and update if/when the exclusion has been approved.

If your company would like to file a Section 232 or Section 301 exclusion, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

What should my company do regarding the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs?

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We are fielding a lot of calls from importers, vendors, manufacturers, brokers and freight forwarders about what to do now that the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs are in place.

We suggest:

  1. Review the list of products to determine your company’s exposure to Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs. The First Section 301 list can be found here.
  2. If there is a product on the second list of the Section 301 tariffs, you should participate in the comment process. The second list can be found here.
  3. If you are importing a product covered under Section 301 or Section 232, look into other alternatives for sourcing.
  4. This may be a good time to review your imported and exported goods and the classification used.
  5. Notify your customers, suppliers, vendors, buyers of potential price impacts of these new tariffs.
  6. Review pending purchase orders and pending shipments with companies in China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

If you have any questions about Section 232 or Section 301, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. We also assist in filing exclusion requests and submission of comments, call or email now for immediate assistance.