US Extends Tariff Reprieve on Some Chinese Goods as Review Ongoing

Date: Monday, December 19, 2022
Source: Bloomberg

The US extended its reprieve on tariffs for some goods from China as the Biden administration reviews the need for the duties introduced by former President Donald Trump.

The exclusions — due to expire at the of the year — will apply to 352 products and run through Sept. 30, the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement Friday. The goods include pumps, compressors, air and water purifiers, valves and a variety of motors. Exemptions from the duties will lapse for 197 other products.

The tariffs on Chinese goods are a holdover from Trump’s aggressive actions against Beijing, and the Biden administration has kept them in place as leverage against what the US sees as its key strategic and economic rival.

Tensions in the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies eased since hitting a low point earlier this year following a visit to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But efforts to stabilize ties were dealt a new blow this week, when China filed a dispute to the World Trade Organization on Monday against US export-control measures on Chinese microchips.

Trump first started imposing the duties on billions of dollars of imports using section 301 of the Trade Act in 2018, after an investigation concluded China stole intellectual property from American companies and forced them to transfer technology. US law states that the tariffs automatically expire four years after they were imposed, unless the USTR analyzes their effectiveness and consequences.

President Joe Biden has been holding back on a decision to scrap any of the tariffs, which span imports from industrial inputs — such as microchips and chemicals — to consumer merchandise including apparel and furniture.

The USTR earlier this year got hundreds of requests for the tariffs to continue, and in November opened a public web portal to receive comments for two months as it undertakes a review of the need for the tariffs. The deadline for comment is Jan. 17.


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