The 10% additional tariffs scheduled to kick in next month and December continues to evolve, and industry organizations are responding.
In his third memorandum sent yesterday, Home Fashion Products Association legal counsel Robert Leo alerted members about the latest of a series of updates by the United States Trade Representative to the China 301 List 4 import tariffs.
- List 4A: The 10% additional tariff will go into effect on September 1 for products of which less than 75% of the 2018 U.S. imports of that product were from China.
- List 4B: The 10% additional tariff will go into effect on December 15 for products of which 75% or more of the 2018 U.S. imports of that product were from China.
“These thresholds appear to exempt products, like down and feather, where 75% or more is imported from China and are not on List 4B,” he explained. “We are attempting to obtain a copy of the 2018 import figures by country.”
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) reacted to the updates, noting in a statement that it “strongly supports” the Trump administration’s decision to move forward with this next tranche of 301 retaliatory tariffs “that will finally cover a significant portion of China’s exports in our sector.”
President and CEO Kim Glas continued: “U.S. manufacturers…have suffered enormously from China’s illegal IPR activities and state-sponsored export subsidies.”
NCTO, which represent U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, testified on June 20 urging the administration to move forward with tariffs on finished apparel and home textile products.
While it is encouraged by the recent tariff push, NCTO remains concerned that certain inputs already vetted by the administration and removed from previous retaliatory tariff lists remain on this list for proposed duties.
“We have long argued that adding tariffs on imports of manufacturing inputs that are not made in the U.S. in effect raises the cost for American companies,” Glas added. “We urge the administration to uphold these previous exclusions.”
Additionally, NCTO continues to request that the administration include de minimis shipments below $800 on the retaliatory list.
“The provision creates a significant loophole at a time when the administration is seeking to address China’s unfair trade practices,” she summed.
The postponement on tariffs until mid-December bodes well for the holidays – but not for the long term, warned the National Retail Federation.
“While we are still reviewing the details, we are pleased the administration is delaying some tariffs ahead of the holiday season and acknowledging the impact on American consumers,” sais David French, NRF senior vice president for government relations, in a statement. “Still, uncertainty for U.S. businesses continues, and tariffs taking effect September 1 will result in higher costs for American families and slow the U.S. economy. During this delay period, we urge the administration to develop an effective strategy to address China’s unfair trade practices by working with our allies instead of using unilateral tariffs that cost American jobs and hurt consumers.”
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