US and China exchange tariff duties –

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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 dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

US ports first to be impacted if/when China tariffs become effective.

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CNBC on July 28th indicated US ports as the frontline in the trade war with China. Citing interviews with port managers, the CNBC article claims imposition of more duties (estimated to total over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods) will result in cancelled shipments, less container traffic and lost jobs.

One port director from Long Beach believes further duties will impact the port, the state and the nation as a whole. The LA/LB port handled $173 billion in Chinese imports last year and account for 1/3 of all the shipped goods from China to the US.

Last year, $505 billion in goods arrived from China last year with about $130 billion in US goods to China. This difference in the goods arriving versus leaving is part of the $375 billion trade deficit President Trump vowed to lower while on the campaign trail in 2016.

There are currently in place tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods that resulted in China also imposing an equal $34 billion in US goods to the mainland. If List 2 and 3 become effective, the tariffs would cover around $200 billion more in Chinese goods.

The port director in Long Beach claimed the import business supports a million jobs throughout Southern California and slowdowns in China trade could result in layoffs, leading to loss of local and state tax revenues generated by business impacted by a slow down in trade.

If you have any questions how the tariff lists will impact your business, or for a free consultation on whether your goods are on one of the three lists, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at: dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Tesla raises car prices in China amid potential US/China trade war.

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Reuters is reporting the price of Model S and Model X Tesla vehicles have increased by over $20,000 in China. Reuters cites the website Electrek’s report on Monday.

China already raised tariffs on U.S. car imports in response to President Trump’s move on imposing tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The raise in prices in China come after a decrease in prices as recently as this past May – when Model X vehicles were discounted $14,000. Electrek reports that 17% of Tesla’s 2017 revenue was from China sales and that Tesla estimates shipping 15,000 cars a year to China.

 

U.S. Commerce Secretary in China for trade talks.

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According to an Associated Press article from June 1st, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday for talks on China’s promise to buy more American goods.

The talks are about China’s May 19th announcement to narrow the trade surplus with the US, which reached a record high of $375 billion USD last year. China previously indicated they would increase purchase of farm goods, energy and other goods and services.

Additionally, the US may not get the commitment it seeks in reducing the trade deficit as China’s “Made in China 2025” plan seeks to establish China as an industry leader in high tech industries such as robotics, computer chips and electric vehicles.

A resolution may not occur with just one meeting as Trump has threatened tariffs on $100 billion of Chinese goods and China threatening retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion of US goods.

Check back for the latest news of the results of the Secretary Ross meeting.

If you have any questions about current antidumping or countervailing duty actions on goods from China – feel free to call experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

No US-Rwanda Trade War Updates

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Flag of Rwanda via Wikipedia

A few days ago I posed about a pending US-Rwanda trade war over Rwanda’s import duty on second hand clothes imported into Rwanda.

My post mentioned a May 28th deadline in which the US asked Rwanda to reverse or reduce tariffs on imports of secondhand clothing – as of today, there has been no news. Yesterday (Monday, May 28th) was Memorial Day in the US, so a decision will likely be made some time this week.

US-Rwanda trade war?

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Flag of Rwanda via Wikipedia

Unexpected title I know, usually we associate “trade war” with “China”, however, the Trump administration has given Rwanda until May 28th to reduce the tax on imported clothes (the US is a major exporter of second hand clothes to Rwanda – ever wonder what happens to those “clothes and shoes” that are donated to the parking lot donation boxes?)

Background:
In 2016, the East African Community (EAC) composed of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda increased tariffs on used clothing. Specifically, Rwanda increased the duties by 20 cents to $2.50 per kilogram. This 20 cent increase is at risk of hurting Rwanda’s export benefits under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA allows certain African countries (like Rwanda) duty-free access to the US market for 6,500 exported products. Since AGOA was passed, duty-free exports to the US from AGOA qualified countries have increased 400% to over 1.0 billion since the law was passed.

AGOA Products:
A full list of those products can be found here.

The Trump administration is threatening Rwanda with losing certain benefits under the AGOA after a compliant was filed last year from the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), a US-based organization which represents companies that collect and resell Americans’ used clothing. SMART claims the Rwanda tariffs have a big impact on the $1 billion dollar used clothing export industry.

Arguments from both sides:
SMART claims the Rwandan tariffs hurt their business while poor Rwandans also claim the increased prices of second hand clothes in Rwanda impact their ability to buy clothes at affordable prices. However, Rwanda’s government claims an increase in second-hand clothing prices will make locally made Rwanda clothes more price competitive. If the tariffs increase second-hand clothing prices and move people towards purchasing new Rwandan made clothes, the Rwandan government claims more factories will be built, more jobs will be created and the economy will improve.

What will happen?
Check back on May 28th, I will update as soon as I find anything. If anything, I’m expecting China to fill the void. A cursory search on Alibaba for “used clothes in bales” shows lots of offerings targeted for export to East Africa and the general African market.

US and China agree to end trade war.

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According to aMay 19th article from the Agence France-Presse (AFP), China’s Vice-Premier Liu He announced the US and China “reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other”. The AFP article cited Chinese state media for their article and here is the Cliffs Notes version:

1. Both the US and China will stop increasing tariffs against each other.
2. China agreed to increase purchases of US goods and services.
3. Joint statement did not address reducing the trade deficit with China.
4. New trade cooperation to medical care, high tech products and finance.
5. Each part will cooperate on protecting intellectual property rights

Will update as more news becomes available.

China’s Ministry of Commerce publishes Section 301 Retaliatory Tariff List.

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Yesterday, the People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued Announcement 34. Announcement 34 states that the PRC will implement tariffs of 25% on soybeans, various agricultural products, chemicals, automobiles and airplanes, encompassing a total of 106 U.S. products in response to recent tariffs issued by the current administration.

A simplified Chinese-only version of 2018’s Announcement 34 can be found here.

If you have any questions about whether these tariffs will effect your exports to China, contact bilingual and experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.