Breaking News: Tariffs On Chinese Imports Climb As Trade Negotiations Stall

At 12:01 am Eastern this morning, tariffs on the approximately $200 billion in Chinese imports jumped from 10 percent to 25 percent, following a breakdown in trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators. The President has also threatened to extend the tariffs to virtually all Chinese imports—more than half a trillion dollars—should the two sides not come to a satisfactory agreement. This latest turn in the ongoing trade dispute has roiled markets and raised questions for businesses and the promotional products industry.

To ensure that members of Congress understand the importance of the global value chain and the difficulties trade wars place on businesses—particularly small businesses—industry professionals and PPAI leadership are traveling to Washington, D.C. next week to participate in the Association’s annual Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.). On May 15-16, nearly 80 advocates will conduct more than 300 meetings on Capitol Hill with senators, representatives and their legislative staffs from all 50 states, and the tariff escalation will be at the forefront of those conversations.

“Increasing tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent makes a difficult situation worse. While we support efforts to address China’s unfair trade policies and practices, tariffs are a tax on U.S. businesses and ultimately they are a burden on consumers,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “This is why it is so important to build connections and have an ongoing dialogue with our legislators to identify a long-term solution that will address unfair trade policies without penalizing the American consumer. And it’s why PPAI and our industry colleagues will be in Washington, D.C. next week to meet with our representatives and help work toward resolving this issue.”

L.E.A.D is one step in the Association’s and the promotional products industry’s ongoing work to elevate legislators’ understanding of the value chain. In conjunction with the annual event, in recent years PPAI has met directly with the U.S. Trade Representative, joined with coalition partners to amplify its message and participated in numerous fly-ins, hearings and meetings on issues important to its members and the industry.

How the tariffs play out for specific businesses depends on several factors. For those with imports on the water—i.e. those currently in transit—the U.S. Trade Representative published a notice to the Federal Register stating that the 10 percent tariff rate will remain in effect through June 1 for all goods shipped prior to May 10. For more on the tariffs and how the industry is responding to them, read Tuesday’s PPB Newslink.

filed under May 2019 | Breaking News | Tariffs
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Comments (1)
Betsy Whitehead
May 10, 2019
It will never be easy getting China to stop their unfair trade policies and practices. However, there is no better way than tarrifs to use as leaverage to solve the problem. Our firm can sell through a 10 to 25% increase should we continue to purchase goods from China. However, more and more countries, including the United States are doing more in our industry. We support our President in his efforts and hope that my peers will do the same.
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