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July 11, 2019

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Tariff exemption for 110 China products

THE Trump administration will exempt 110 Chinese products, from medical equipment to key capacitors, from hefty tariffs, offering relief to some US firms which have said the taxes harm their bottom lines.

The relatively narrow exemption list will provide relief from 25 percent tariffs the United States slapped on US$34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6, 2018, one of the first salvos in a bilateral trade battle that has roiled global supply chains and cost billions.

The retroactive exclusions are effective as of that date, and extend for a year from Tuesday.

The waivers by the US Trade Representatives’ office follow another 1,000 exemptions granted in the past year.

The United States has levied tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports and has threatened to slap taxes on another US$300 billion.

The threat was suspended after a late June meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in which they agreed to resume negotiations.

USTR has exempted a component in a Medtronic Plc device used to treat liver tumors, one of 12 exclusion requests granted to the world’s largest medical device maker.

The company argued that the R&D-heavy components were not produced in China.

Palo Alto Networks Inc, a cybersecurity firm, also received a waiver for one of the electronic components it imports from China, a tantalum capacitor used to control electrical flow in its network firewall equipment.

Varian Medical Systems was also granted an exclusion for some of its radiotherapy equipment after arguing that the tariffs would only hurt them as no other good alternatives are available.

Tesla Inc was denied exemptions for some Chinese-made circuitry for its vehicles.


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