December 6, 2018
A Clarification on the 90 Day Extension for China Possible Tariff Increases As you know the 301 tariffs on List 3 products from China were originally implemented at a rate of 10% with the proviso that they would be increased to 25% on January 1, 2019 if China did not satisfactorily respond to U.S. complaints about unfair trade practices.
This past weekend the Trump administration apparently reached a further agreement with China to extend tariffs at the 10% rate for 90 days. This is to allow further time for China to respond in exchange for China's agreement to immediately begin increasing imports from the U.S. The 90 day extension did not provide a lot of specifics and has caused confusion from a number of perspectives.
One common misconception is that the 90 day extension starts from January 1st. That is not the case. Officials have clarified that the 90 day clock actually began last weekend when the interim agreement was reached. The new deadline is March 1, 2019, not March 31st, as might have been expected.
This means importers who are planning to increase their first quarter shipments to beat the possibility of tariff increases have a slightly smaller window than some anticipated. This strategy will require that shipment dates must be planned accordingly. It must also be remembered that Chinese New Year begins February 5th and runs through the 19th. Some factories start shutting down prior to the 5th.
All this means the window for adjusting shipping schedules is really not that large and advance planning should be done now to take advantage of whatever opportunity this window presents. We will continue to keep you advised.