U.S. Finalizes Next Round of Tariffs


By The Maritime Executive 08-07-2018 09:28:28

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has announced 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese goods starting August 23, saying they are a response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.

U.S. President Donald Trump aims to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions after imposing tariffs on $34 billion in goods on July 6.

The latest list includes semiconductors from China, even though many of the basic chips in these products originate from the U.S., Taiwan or South Korea, reports Reuters. The tariffs also will apply to a range of Chinese electronics, plastics, chemicals and railway equipment. However, items excluded after a public comment period include intermodal shipping containers and floating docks. A tariff on these items was deemed to cause “severe economic harm.”

Trump has been reported to have said: "I'm ready to go to 500" - indicating tariffs on almost all Chinese exports to the U.S., which last year totaled $505 billion. 

China has vowed to match the tariffs with its own. Last week, Chinese authorities proposed tariff ranging from five to 25 percent on $60 billion of U.S. goods, including LNG. 

In March 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the findings of its Section 301 investigation that found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce. Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:

•  China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
•  China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
•  China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
•  China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.