Trade negotiators from the U.S. and China are scheduled to resume this week on Friday. These discussions will focus on compliance with the Phase I deal agreed to in January of this year in which China agreed to purchase an additional $200 million of U.S. goods over two years. China also agreed to new commitments regarding currency manipulation, protection of intellectual property and prohibiting forced transfer of technology. Partly because of Covid-19 China is behind schedule in increasing purchases from the U.S. and the outcome of these talks is being watched closely.
These talks are expected to take place by video conferencing and come with the backdrop of further political strain over the status of Hong Kong, the Covid-19 outbreak, the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston and other human rights issues. These non-trade political issues could impact how these new discussions proceed according to some experts.
The 301 trade tariffs are still a central issue in U.S.-China trade negotiations as imports from China have fallen significantly, partly because of Covid-19 and reduced demand but the tariffs continue to challenge many U.S. importers and Chinese exporters.
Many U.S. importers have partially overcome the 301 tariffs by requesting and being granted exclusions for a number of products. Recently many of these exclusions have been extended for another year, but not all products which had previously been excluded. Importers should review the exclusion list to determine if their products might be subject to exclusion. Even duties already paid could be subject to refund if the product has been excluded and refunds are applied for either by post entry summary correction (PSC) or by protest if the entry has been liquidated.
U.S. Imports and Exports with Europe are also down significantly this year partly because of the economic downturn caused by Covid-19, but also due in part to escalating tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic. We will continue to monitor these trade talks and keep you informed as well
Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance in this area and we will do our best to advise you of further developments on the trade front.