Washington extends punitive tariff exemptions against China

Posted 24 March, 2022

The United States announced on Wednesday that hundreds of products imported from China would continue, until the end of the year, to be exempt from the punitive tariffs that had been initially imposed by Donald Trump.

The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced its decision to extend the exemption from these customs taxes, for “352 of the 549 (products) eligible”, is it indicated in a press release. The measure will apply retroactively from October 12, 2021, until December 31, 2022.

The government of President Joe Biden launched this “targeted” exemption procedure in early October and stressed that they would be granted “on a case-by-case basis” if there was no way to replace products from China. Companies wishing to benefit from it could then make comments and justify their request.

Small and medium-sized American companies had deplored these customs surcharges that they must pay for lack of being able to obtain supplies elsewhere.

“Today's decision was made after careful consideration of public comments and in consultation with other US agencies,” USTR said.

Donald Trump's government, denouncing "unfair" trade practices on the part of Beijing, which led to a colossal trade deficit, had imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese products representing the equivalent of 370 billion dollars of American imports annually.

However, more than 2200 exemptions had been granted, then 549 had been extended. "Most of these exemptions expired on December 31, 2020," less than a month before Mr. Trump's term ends, the USTR added in a statement.

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