Since the inception of the Trade War with China, the Office of the United States’ Trade Representative (USTR) has provided citizens, primarily those in industries directly affected by the imposition of ad valorem duties (tariffs), the opportunity to request that certain products be granted exclusions. Each list of tariffs has its own specific process to ensure that concerned citizens may voice their opinions as to why given products should not be subjected to additional duties upon importation, as prescribed in the Section 301 investigation.
Despite the reignition of tensions in May, hopes of reconciliation began to grow in the preeminence of the G-20 international economic forum, held in June. While substantial progress was not made, President Trump and potential dictator for life Xi Jinping appeared to slow the escalation, coming to a bilateral good-faith agreement. Supposedly, the two nations agreed that the United States would soften the sanctions imposed on Chinese tech giant, Huawei, contingent that China begins to repurchase American agricultural products, as well as halt their exportation of Fentanyl.
The tentative “cease-fire” also intended to delay the United States’ imposition of the threatened list 4, which would levy a 25% ad valorem on roughly $300 Billion worth of Chinese goods. The new round of tariffs looms over China, considering that 2019 proved to be their worst fiscal year in recent memory. In fact, this is the most sluggish Chinese economy in nearly three decades, which many directly attribute to President Trump’s vigilant economic policies.
However, approximately a month since the United States graciously showed the illicit regime restraint, China refuses to uphold their end of the bargain. Chinese imports of American agriculture has failed to accelerate, and similarly, their exportation of Fentanyl remains a major health threat to the United States.
“China agreed to…buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so,” President Trump said. “Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States—this never happened, and many Americans continue to die.”
…buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States – this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! Trade talks are continuing, and…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019
China’s most recent defiance led President Trump to announce that the US will proceed to implement a 4th list of tariffs. Despite the fact that the originally proposed list would levy 25% ad valorem, the new list, which is set to go into effect on September 1, will start at a 10% ad valorem tariff (and can be increased to a 25% tariff at a later date). The list still targets $300 Billion worth of goods and is set to affect almost all items not included in List’s 1, 2, and 3. Whereas list’s 1 and 2 affected steel, aluminum, and other metals, list 3 began to cast a wider net. List 4 however, includes a variety of goods ranging from clothing to basic electronics.