White House Grants Tariff Extensions on More than 400 Chinese Goods

Weeks away from high-level trade war talks, there’s progress.

The U.S. just announced that it is exempting 437 Chinese goods from tariffs, according to CNBC.  The exclusion will include Christmas lights, plastic straws, dog leases, coffee filters, car radiators, and printed circuit boards.  

“The latest exemptions are a tacit acknowledgment by the US of the damage being done to domestic interests by the imposition of tariffs,” Stephen Olson, a research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation said as quoted by CNBC.  “The timing however is interesting.  It suggests that both sides have determined that further escalations are not desirable right now, so they are trying to create positive atmospherics before the October round of negotiations, in the hopes that those talks will at least forestall any further deterioration.”

According to the U.S. Trade Representative:

One set based on the September 24, 2018 tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will expire on August 17, 2020.  A second set based on August 23, 2018 tariffs on $16 billion worth of goods will expire in one year. And other sets of exclusions based on $34 billion worth of tariffs will expire this time next year.

Just a week ago, China announced it was canceling tariff increases on U.S. soybeans and pork after easing tariffs on 16 U.S. products, including lubricant oils.  Trump responded to that by delaying tariffs by up to two weeks on $250 billion worth of goods ahead of Beijing’s 70thanniversary of the Chinese revolution.

While a trade war resolution is not a guarantee, this is at least a positive step.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story.