China tariffs

Some very important news today from the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Approximately 20 percent of the items set to be hit with a 10 percent tariff on September 1 had their tariff date pushed back to December 1, this morning, per the following announcement from the USTR:

USTR Announces Next Steps on Proposed 10 Percent Tariff on Imports from China

Washington, DC – The United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced the next steps in the process of imposing an additional tariff of 10 percent on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports.

On May 17, 2019, USTR published a list of products imported from China that would be potentially subject to an additional 10 percent tariff. This new tariff will go into effect on September 1 as announced by President Trump on August 1.

Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent.

Further, as part of USTR’s public comment and hearing process, it was determined that the tariff should be delayed to December 15 for certain articles. Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.

USTR intends to conduct an exclusion process for products subject to the additional tariff.

The USTR will publish on its website today, and in the Federal Register as soon as possible, additional details and lists of the tariff lines affected by this announcement.

The USTR then almost immediately came out with two new tariff lists. One, called List 4A, is a 121 page lists of products that will be subject to a 10 percent tariff on September 1, as originally planned. The other, called List 4B, is a 21 page list of products that were to be subject to a 10 percent tariff on September 1 but will instead not be subject to that tariff until December 15.

Cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors and some shoes and clothing make up the bulk of the list of items on which tariffs have been delayed. This delay is believed to have been instituted to avoid higher prices on items often bought by back-to-school and holiday shoppers.

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Photo of Fred Rocafort Fred Rocafort

Fred is a former diplomat who joined Harris Bricken after more than a decade of international legal experience, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. His wide range of experience includes starting and operating his own business in Asia, working as an in-house counsel for a Hong Kong-based multinational, as well as many years as a State Department official, providing a client-centric perspective to his legal work.

Fred began his career overseas as a U.S. vice-consul in Guangzhou, China, adjudicating thousands of visa applications and advocating for fairer treatment of American companies and citizens in China and for stronger anti-counterfeiting enforcement. After entering the private sector, Fred worked at a Shanghai law firm as a foreign legal advisor and later joined one of the oldest American law firms in China. He also led the legal team at a Hong Kong-based brand protection consultancy, spending most of his time out in the field, protecting clients against counterfeiters and fraudsters from Binh Duong to Buenos Aires.

Fred is an ardent supporter of FC Barcelona—and would be even in the absence of Catalan forebears who immigrated to Puerto Rico in the mid-1800s. An avid explorer of Hong Kong’s countryside, he now spends much of his free time discovering the Pacific Northwest’s natural charms.