Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) formally published a notice in the Federal Register confirming what President Donald Trump tweeted out last Sunday: U.S. imports of Chinese products, valued at $200 billion, that have been subject to a Section 301 10 percent tariff since September 24, 2018, will face a 25 percent tariff starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 10, 2019 (see Trump and Trade Update of May 6, 2019).
The current 10 percent duty rate had been originally scheduled to increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019; however, Trump on several occasions postponed the increase while trade negotiations with China continued. In the past week, USTR Robert Lighthizer indicated that China was retreating from specific commitments made in earlier rounds of talks. As noted in today’s Federal Register notice, “In light of the lack of progress in discussions with China, the President has directed the Trade Representative to increase the rate of additional duty to 25 percent.” The list of products included in this third tranche of tariffs implemented on Chinese products can be found here. China’s Ministry of Commerce has indicated that it will retaliate but did not specify how or when.
Today’s Federal Register notice also confirms that the USTR is in the process of implementing an exclusion request process for the products covered by this tariff increase, including the procedures for submitting requests and an opportunity for interested persons to oppose them.