Furniture Avoids 1st Round Of China Tariffs

- Jun 21, 2018-

WASHINGTON – Finished home furnishings goods avoided a list of 818 products imported from Chinareleased today by Office of the United States Trade Representative that will be subject to additional Section 301 tariffs of 25%.

While the list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones, televisions or furniture, it does affect inputs for aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials and automobiles. It does include machinery and parts for woodworking.

Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on July 6.

This “first round” of goods represents around $34 billion in Chinese imports containing industrially significant technologies, including those related to China’s “Made in China 2025” industrial policy.

Another 284 products, which account for around $16 billion worth of imports from China, will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a public hearing. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products from this list that would be subject to the additional duties.

That second list has a variety of materials and machinery, including drilling and mortising equipment for woodworking, as well as some textile products.

The USTR’s action followed a Section 301 investigation in which USTR found that China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory, and burden U.S. commerce.

“We must take strong defensive actions to protect America’s leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China’s theft of our intellectual property, the forced transfer of American technology, and its cyber attacks on our computer networks,” said Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. “China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like ‘Made in China 2025.’ Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognizes that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness.”

The list of products issued today covers 1,102 separate U.S. tariff lines valued at approximately $50 billion in 2018 trade values. This list was compiled based on extensive interagency analysis and a thorough examination of comments and testimony from interested parties. It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy.

The National Council of Textile Organizations praised the imposition of tariffs but also called on the Trump administration to include finished textile and apparel products on any future lists of imports from China to be made subject to Section 301 tariffs.

“As per our recommendation, NCTO is pleased that almost all textile machinery products were removed from the final list of tariff lines subject to immediate 301 duties because tariffs on textile machinery hinder the competitiveness of U.S. textile manufacturers,” said NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo. “While appreciative of today’s actions, NCTO is convinced that the Trump administration’s efforts to deter China’s unfair trade practices would be even more effective if textile and apparel end products from China were made subject to Section 301 tariffs.”

He noted that that some textile products are on the second list of products scheduled for further review.

"It would have a greater deterring effect, however, if more textile and apparel end products were included," Tantillo said. "As such, NCTO looks forward to working closely with the Trump administration to refine it.”

USTR will soon provide an opportunity for the public to request the exclusion of particular products from the additional duties subject to this action. USTR will issue a notice in the Federal Register with details regarding this process within the next few weeks.