Wednesday, January 20

USTR says China tariff list does not include pharmaceuticals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A list of products subject to possible U.S. tariffs on about $300 billion of Chinese imports will include cellphones and laptop computers but not pharmaceuticals and rare earth materials, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said on Monday.

It said a public hearing will be held on June 17 on its list of 3,805 product categories that could be subject to tariffs of up to 25%. Final rebuttal comments are due seven days after the end of the hearing, USTR said, marking a much shorter public comment period than previous rounds.

Initial tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese imports received about 71 days of public scrutiny during the summer of 2018, versus as little as 42 days for the latest $300 billion round of tariffs.

The proposed list would cover nearly every consumer product left untouched by President Donald Trump’s previous tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop and tablet computers. Apple Inc, whose products had escaped prior rounds of tariffs, saw its shares plunge 5.8 percent on Monday, taking U.S. stocks broadly lower.

Consumer goods ranging from clothing and footwear, snowblowers and pencil sharpeners feature on the proposed tariff list.

But the list excluded Chinese-made pharmaceuticals, inputs for pharmaceuticals and select medical products, along with rare earth materials and critical inputs. Rare earth minerals and certain medical inputs are considered important for electric vehicles, defense and drugs industries.

Product exclusions granted by USTR from prior rounds of tariffs will not be affected, including a group of exclusions announced earlier on Monday for small electric motors, water filters and other components.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *