(Reuters) – The latest bargain in US-China negotiations to cool a 16-month trade war is whether President Donald Trump would repay hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese imports and how soon.
FILE PHOTO: A 100 yuan banknote (R) is placed next to a $ 100 banknote in this illustration taken in Beijing on November 7, 2010. REUTERS / Petar Kujundzic / File Photo
Trump administration began to introduce customs duties in July 2018 on industrial components and technology products from China. After Beijing retaliated with higher tariffs on US farm goods, Trump struck back with several tariffs – many already adopted, some still threatened – where the vast majority of Chinese imports could be affected by the end of 2019.
Like the US and Chinese dealers approaching a "phase one" trade, expectations are rising that at least some of these tariffs will be removed.
China's Department of Commerce and a US official said on November 7 that a deal would include a tariff withdrawal, but Trump undermined the idea after pushback from Chinese hawks in his administration, saying he has not decided to do so.
The following is a look at current and planned US tariffs for Chinese goods, listed in reverse chronological order. Industry experts say the latest tariffs are likely to be removed.
December 15 TARIFFS, $ 156 MILLION "LIST 4B" here
The United States is scheduled to impose 15% tariffs on approximately $ 156 billion Chinese products on December 15, including cell phones, laptops, toys and clothing – known as “ List 4B. "
People briefed on the trade talks say that the United States has effectively agreed not to continue with this round of tariffs as part of the trade phase. An American official has said the fate of these tariffs will be seen as part of the final negotiation of the text of the agreement.
CANCELED OCT. 15 RATE INCREASE
After an early round of talks in October led to a handshake in the White House on the interim agreement with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, Trump decided not to proceed with an October 15 increase in tariffs of about $ 250 billion Chinese goods at 30% from the 25% interest rate already imposed.
If calls to complete the text for the phase of a trade agreement collapse, Trump could move to re-impress this increase. Influenced goods range widely from industrial components and semiconductors to furniture and building materials.
September 1 RATES: $ 125 MILLION, "LIST 4A" here
The United States imposed a 15% duty on around $ 125 billion in goods on September 1, 2019, including flat-screen TVs, flash memory devices, smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones, bedding, multifunction printers and many types of footwear.
Trump introduced these tariffs and began the December 15 tariffs, after a late-July negotiation round failed to lead to a significant increase in Chinese purchases of US farm goods. The Phase 1 trade agreement now under discussion will roughly double such purchases from the pre-trade level over a period of time, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
People familiar with the discussions say that China has asked to remove these September 1 tariffs as part of the agreement, and the request is being considered.
10. MAY THE TREATY INCREASE
10. In May 2019, Trump increased Chinese goods tariffs to $ 200 billion to 25% from 10% after China withdrew from a proposed deal that US officials said was almost complete.
The higher tariff rates applied to nearly 6,000 products originally taxed in September 2018, from computer modems and routers to vacuum cleaners, light fixtures and furniture.
The U.S. Trade Representative's Office issued exceptions for hundreds of these products in September 2019, including some computer circuit boards, laminated wood flooring and dog collar.
September 24, 2018, $ 200 MILLION TARIFF ACTION: "LIST 3" here
Trump imposed tariffs on a $ 200 billion list of Chinese imports on September 24, 2018, after Beijing retaliated against a first US tariff volley with their own duties on American farm products and manufactured goods.
This list of product tariffs, and the two previous lists below, may be the least likely to be rolled back, say trade experts and people familiar with the talks, adding that keeping some tariffs in place would maintain leverage over China in future negotiations. Trump has said he will not fully reverse the tariffs on Chinese goods.
AUG / SEPT 2018 Tariffs, $ 50 Billion "LIST 1" here "LIST 2" here
The first US customs duties on Chinese imports imposed in the summer of 2018 covered $ 50 billion in Chinese goods considered core to the United States "Section 301 “Allegations that China systematically steals and forces the transfer of US intellectual property to Chinese companies.
These original lists were mainly composed of Chinese-made industrial components, machinery, semiconductors, and other non-consumer goods aimed at causing pain to Chinese exporters while minimizing the impact on American manufacturers.
The "List 1" tariff rates for the first Chinese goods of $ 34 billion were introduced on July 6, 2018, while a second list of $ 16 billion "List 2" tariffs came into force on August 23, 2018.
Reporting by David Lawder and Heather Timmons in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler