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U.S. to increase tariffs on China imports

U.S. to increase tariffs on China imports - Route Newsletter: May 2024

On May 14, 2024, President Biden instructed his Trade Representative to raise tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion worth of imports from China. This action is aimed at safeguarding American workers and businesses.

The following statement from the White House was issued on May 14th:

“Following an in-depth review by the United States Trade Representative, President Biden is taking action to protect American workers and American companies from China’s unfair trade practices.

To encourage China to eliminate its unfair trade practices regarding technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, the President is directing increases in tariffs across strategic sectors such as steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, ship-to-shore cranes, and medical products.”

The following tariff increases have been proposed:

    1. Certain steel and aluminum products will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year, and battery parts will rise from 7.5% to 25%.
    2. Lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% this year, while lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.
    3. Certain other critical minerals will increase from zero to 25% this year.
    4. Solar cells will increase from 25% to 50% this year.
    5. Syringes and needles will go from zero to 50% this year.
    6. Certain personal protective equipment, including certain respirators and masks, will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year.
    7. Semiconductors will increase from 25% to 50% by 2025.
    8. Natural graphite and permanent magnets will increase from zero to 25% in 2026.
    9. Rubber medical and surgical gloves will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has advised that they will issue a Federal Register notice next week announcing procedures for interested persons to comment on the proposed modifications and information concerning an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

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