Tariff Increase Threat Made Prior to Trade Talks with China

President Donald Trump is putting the pressure on China leading up to trade talks in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. He tweeted on Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products would go up from 10% to 25% on Friday. He also tweeted that $325 billion in additional Chinese goods would soon be subject to a 25% tariff.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted last week that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer concluded productive meetings with China’s Vice Premier Liu He. However, the president says the trade negotiations have progressed too slowly.

The administration was set to raise tariffs on $200 billion Chinese products from 10% to 25% on January 1, 2019, but delayed the rate increase after a sideline meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires in early December 2018.

The two leaders agreed to begin negotiations on forced technology transfers, intellectual property protections, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft. The president cited forced technology transfers and a lack of intellectual property protections as reasons for the tariffs.

The administration gave a deadline of March 1, 2019 for a new trade deal to be negotiated; however, a tariff increase did not take place and a new deadline was not given at the time. Trade talks have since continued between the two countries.

Glass- and glazing-related materials on the list of products subject to the tariff include:

  • Various float glass products;
  • Glass mirrors;
  • Glass frit;
  • Laminated safety glass;
  • Glass in the mass of fused quartz or other fused silica; and
  • Enamels, glazing, pigments, colors and lusters for the glass industries.

Base metal door closers suitable for buildings, base metal automatic door closers and base metal parts are also affected. Base metal, other than iron, steel, aluminum or zinc, mountings and fittings suitable for buildings are also included in the tariffs.

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