Written by Jamie Rodgers, CEO of J.M. Rodgers Co., Inc.

In only a few weeks, new tariffs will go into place under what that US Trade Representative calls “list 4,” as it is the 4th grouping of products to be subject to tariffs when they originate out of China. Since being put in place last July, they will by the end of the year extend to nearly every product imported from China.

This wave, announced formally earlier in August, was originally going to be put in place entirely on September 1st. However this was met with some pushback across industries still shipping at peak season, and so the 4th wave was split into two lists- 4A and 4B. Together, they involve more than $300 billion worth of imported products now subject to a 10% duty.

The list of 4A will go into place as planned on September 1st. Anything that enters US commerce and is cleared by Customs after that date that’s on that list will be hit with the 10% duty now attached. On December 15th the remainder will be in effect also at a 10% level. The President has left open the possibility of this rising to 25%, but no hard plans for that have been shown.

The reason for the delay seems to be largely due to concerns that the tariff increases would have an adverse effect on holiday shopping, possibly driving up prices leading to a weaker retail season. The largest parts of the display are popular consumer items in the Christmas season- computers, game consoles, phones, and toys are the most notable exceptions delayed until December.

It seems that from past experience that in all likelihood, these tariffs will go in place. In China, Hong Kong protests have taken primacy, and President Trump has indicated that how the situation is handled there will affect negotiations on a trade deal going forward. As it’s unclear at this time how things will resolve in Hong Kong, nobody can say for sure what the future for a US-China trade deal would be.

Any company concerned if their products will be subject to the new lists can double-check it against the lists provided by the US Trade Representative. As before, since these are “section 301” tariffs they will be eligible for duty drawback if the products are exported or destroyed. If you’d like to discuss further your company’s products or how to mitigate their impact through drawback, please call our VP of Sale Andrew Galloway at 973-726-5340 or agalloway@jmrodgers.com.

https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/section-301-china/300-billion-trade-action