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USTR imposes tariffs on Chinese products

April 6, 2018

Following an executive memorandum to the USTR last month, the Trade Representative has released a sizeable list of Chinese-origin products which will incur 25 percent ad valorem duty.

As Lexology reports, on 3 April, the USTR released a notice in which it proposes to implement the additional duty on a long list of Chinese products, in a move decided to “eliminate several of China’s policies and practices” which have been deemed to be “unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict US commerce”.

These policies and practices include “forced technology transfers, investment in and acquisition of assets to obtain US intellectual property and technology, and theft of US intellectual property.”

Analysts working in a range of US government agencies “identified products that benefit from Chinese industrial policies, including Made in China 2025.”

The list of products to be affected is “extensive”; the products featured on it “are identified by eight-digit tariff items”. They include iron, steel and aluminium, printing machinery, computer-related equipment and accessories, and electrical equipment such as transformers.

It has been estimated by the USTR that the “2018 trade value” of the items featured on the list is roughly $50 billion (€40.7 billion), “which it believes is an appropriate level given the harm to the US economy”.

China has reacted to the release of the list by announcing that it will impose “an additional 25 percent duty on 106 US products”, among them automobiles, soybeans and whiskey. This is in addition to the “recently implemented retaliatory tariffs on over $600 million (€488.8 million)” on other US products such as pork and ethanol, which were implemented following “the section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium” levied by the US.

It is currently unclear to what extent these new tariffs will affect the remanufacturing industry.

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