As you know, the U.S. has implemented tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods since last year and 10% tariffs on another $200 billion of merchandise from China. Yesterday the President sent an ominous tweet out indicating he was not satisfied with the progress of ongoing negotiations and that the 10% tariffs could be increased to 25% as soon as this week.
Chinese negotiators are due in Washington on Wednesday this week to continue to work with the U.S. to get some agreements on Chinese trade practices which have been a problem for a long time. As always, it is difficult to judge if the tweets are indications of imminent action or posturing as part of trade negotiations. The latest tweet also indicated the President could impose 25% tariffs on all other Chinese imports which would cover an additional $300 billion of goods, including a wide range of consumer products.
Some press reports this morning have indicated that new tariffs were going into effect on May 10th. That is not true. However, all importers need to watch the negotiations this week and be prepared for rapid changes just in case. We will keep you advised of further developments.