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Trump’s tariffs set to take effect

July 5, 2018

The list of Chinese imports to the United States that will be subject to additional tariffs in what is becoming known as the USA and China’s “trade war” has been released, ahead of their enforcement from tomorrow.

The tariffs, which are being introduced in response to “unfair trade practices” in China and alleged violation and theft of intellectual property, are being placed on around $50 billion (€42.7 billion) worth of imports from the Asian superpower, after the United States Trade Representative found China’s actions in terms of technology transfer, innovation, and IP to be “unreasonable and discriminatory,” and that they “burden US commerce.”

The newly-published list of products includes multiple examples from the information technology industry, including parts and accessories for printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines. A USTR statement explained that the list “focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the ‘Made in China 2025’ industrial policy”, although it adds – perhaps confusingly – that “the list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.”

The additional duty, of 25 percent, will be collected on imports of these products from tomorrow, by US Customs and Border Protection officials.

Ambassador Robert Lighthizer explained: “We must take strong defensive actions to protect America’s leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China’s theft of our intellectual property, the forced transfer of American technology, and its cyber-attacks on our computer networks. China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like ‘Made in China 2025.’  Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognizes that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness.”

The USTR statement added that it recognised “some US companies may have an interest in importing items from China that are covered by the additional duties. Accordingly, USTR will soon provide an opportunity for the public to request the exclusion of particular products from the additional duties subject to this action.”

The full list of products subject to the additional duties is available here.


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