As we are all too aware, last fall, President Trump threatened a double hit of tariff increases against certain Chinese origin goods. The initial increase of 10% took effect on September 24, 2018 but the second hit bringing the total increase to 25% was delayed until this Saturday, March 2nd.
As our administration continues to negotiate with Chinese officials, trying to persuade Beijing to make significant structural changes to its economy and business practices, President gave hope of a delay. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1,” “Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”
Following the President’s lead, the US Trade Representative’s office said on Wednesday that it would move to formally suspend a scheduled tariff increase on Chinese goods “until further notice”. Although, as yet there has been no such announcement in the Federal Register, and unlike the previous delay in increase, apparently Customs and Border Protection will act upon the President’s instruction and not enforce the March 2nd enforcement date. Per CSMS 19-000095 UPDATE- Section 301 Increased Duties Postponed:
The rate of additional duties was initially 10 percent. Those additional duties were effective starting on September 24, 2018, and are currently in effect. Under Annex B of the September 21 notice, the rate of additional duty was set to increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019. On December 19, 2018, USTR published a Federal Register notice changing the effective date of the duty increase to March 2, 2019. See Federal Register 83 FR 65198, December 19, 2018.On February 24, 2019, the President directed a further delay in the duty increase.
Until further notice, the duty rate for the goods covered by the September 21, 2018 Federal Register notice, as amended, will remain at 10 percent. The Section 301 duties currently only apply to products of China, and are based on the country of origin, not country of export.