Tariffs remain the most pressing subject for our customers, and so we believe it’s important to keep our clientele informed as situations change worldwide.

First, developments continue in regard to China trade. Reports from several news agencies indicate some kind of a trade deal with China could be on the near horizon, with high-level officials directly communicating in recent days. This may result in at least a partial deal that could affect the imposition of new tariffs, but no hard information has yet been released.

The trade deals are about much more than the tariffs, though. The big drivers of the trade war originally were the perception that China was taking unfair advantage of the United States by misusing intellectual property and manipulating its currency. Additionally, the dependence of US farmers on their exports to China has been laid bare, and any initial deal will seemingly come with a promise from China to purchase US agricultural goods.

Meanwhile, European agricultural producers are bracing for impact on their sales as the newly-enacted tariffs from the Airbus case are driving up prices. Most products are being subject to a 10% duty, but many of them are also at 25%. Unlike the China talks, there does not appear to be much publicly being done to bring these back down. In fact, the EU will likely be putting retaliatory tariffs on their own case in January- so importers need to count on these tariffs being in place for the long term.

At least one potential fire has been temporarily put out by the EU extending the Brexit deadline to January. This at the very least means that right now the USTR doesn’t immediately need to begin work on a new deal with an independent UK for another few months, as they will remain in the EU through early 2020.

Through all this, any firm looking to mitigate the impact of these duties on them should contact JM Rodgers. As both Customs brokers focused on compliance with the tariff book and drawback providers that can seek refunds of duties, JMR can help you though this difficult time. If you’d like to discuss further, please contact our VP of Sales Andrew Galloway at agalloway@jmrodgers.com or 973-726-5340.