U.S. announces some tariff relief

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U.S. announces some tariff relief

By HBSDealer Staff - 12/13/2019
President Donald Trump trumpeted a China trade deal in a Friday morning tweet. The "Phase One Deal" involves an agreement for China to make structural changes and make "massive purchases" of U.S. products along with a reduction of some tariffs from 15% to 7.5%.

A major part of the agreement: the U.S. will scrap its previously announced plans to tack on a 15% tariff on additional goods imported from China. These tariffs had been expected to go into effect Dec. 15. However, current imports of 25% -- those that are on items on lists 1-3 -- will remain at 25% as negotiations continue. It's the list 4 items that saw a 15% tariff cut in half, under the agreement.

The deal was announced in these presidential tweets.


The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association was quick to respond favorably to the agreement. But the association hopes to see more action, including the elimination of all Section 301 tariffs, more relief and more certainty for lumber and building material dealers.

“NLBMDA is pleased by news of a trade deal with China and are hopeful that this will bring much needed stability to U.S.-China relations”, said NLBMDA President & CEO Jonathan Paine. “However, this agreement does not include tariff relief for imports on Lists 1-3 which contain many products used in residential and commercial construction."

The Office of the United States Trade Representative released the following statement on Friday:

The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.  The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years.  Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement.  The United States has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions in a significant way.

“President Trump has focused on concluding a Phase One agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship.  This unprecedented agreement accomplishes those very significant goals and would not have been possible without the President’s strong leadership,” said United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Today’s announcement of a Phase One agreement with China is another significant step forward in advancing President Trump’s economic agenda.  Thanks to the President’s leadership, this landmark agreement marks critical progress toward a more balanced trade relationship and a more level playing field for American workers and companies,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

The United States first imposed tariffs on imports from China based on the findings of the Section 301 investigation on China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.  The United States will be maintaining 25 percent tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5 percent tariffs on approximately $120 billion of Chinese imports.

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