Tariff Battle Escalates; USCBC Reiterates Call for Negotiation

By USCBC Staff

In response to the finalization of US tariffs targeting $200 billion of Chinese exports, China on Wednesday announced that it would proceed with tariffs on $60 billion of US exports. The US-China Business Council (USCBC) announced its opposition to the move.

In a statement today, China’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) said that it will implement additional tariffs of 5 or 10 percent on 5,207 goods September 24, the same day that the United States’ $200 billion tariff list is implemented. The statement added that if the United States implements further additional tariffs, China will respond accordingly, with relevant details to be announced separately.

China’s retaliation list released on August 3 covered the same number of product listings as today’s announcement, suggesting that no changes were made to the targeted products. The original list, however, proposed four different tariff rates: 5, 10, 20, and 25 percent. USCBC is seeking more information on how the tariff levels will be determined for the final product list.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, USCBC president Craig Allen said, "The Administration is correct to focus on market access, intellectual property rights, and tech requirements that have been articulated in the 301. The use of tariffs at this juncture is counterproductive. It will lead to further distortions in trade and harm to the American economy. It is imperative that the two governments meet as soon as possible to discuss the legitimate interests of the United States, including market access, technology transfer, and intellectual property protection. We urge the administration to abandon the use of tariffs as a tool of commercial diplomacy."

In China several weeks ago, Chinese government officials assured USCBC that they will not retaliate against individual US investors in China. To date, there does not appear to be explicit actions of that type, but please keep USCBC informed of how your company is affected and if we can be of assistance.