August 13, 2019

More China Tariffs, But Did the Trump Administration Just Blink?

Casie Daugherty

This morning, USTR released the list of products from China that would be subject to a 10% tariff on September 1.
However, before they released the list, they announced that some products were removed from the original list that circulated in May “based on health, safety, national security and other factors.” Additionally, USTR delayed some tariffs on products like “cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.
The September 1 list can be found here.
The December 15 list can be found here.
Although some big-ticket consumer items were delayed until December, there are still a significant number of products that will hit consumers on September 1, including:
  • Hundreds of tariff lines devoted to clothing and accessories
  • 90+ tariff lines devoted to shoes and footwear, including ski boots and golf shoes
  • Household products like bed linens, curtains, and table cloths
  • Bluetooth speakers (including Airpods), smart watches, fitness trackers, and smart speakers
  • Some televisions
  • Sports equipment including golf clubs and balls, tennis balls, inflatable balls, baseballs and softballs, football and soccer equipment
  • Diapers
In addition to the products that USTR identified as being delayed, other tariffs were also delayed including:
  • A variety of chemicals
  • Fireworks
  • Office and school supplies
  • Gloves
  • Pet toys
  • Umbrellas
  • Ceramics and glassware
  • Baby products like high chairs, walkers, swings, and play yards
The decision to delay some products until the middle of December is most assuredly due to a desire to avoid raising prices on the consumer goods that are purchased in large quantities around the holiday season. The necessity of this delay became evident as the stock market has suffered significant losses since the president announced his decision to implement further tariffs on China at the beginning on the month.
However, the decision to delay some tariffs negates the president’s narrative that the Chinese government pays these tariffs. After all, if American businesses and consumers don’t pay these tariffs, there would be no need for a delay around the holiday season.

Casie Daugherty
Casie helps to lead the firm’s trade practice, where she covers client needs in relation to Section 301, Section 232, NAFTA/USMCA, CFIUS, and other trade-related actions.