How the US import tariffs against China could impact merchants

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A new raft of US import tariffs and duties applicable to imports from China have been introduced by the American government and they could have an impact on marketplace retailers and ecommerce merchants. The measures form part of President Trump’s policy aim of bolstering American industry and also protesting about what it considers to be unfair trading practices used by the Chinese

You can find the statement from the US government here about the $200 billion of goods that the USA imports annually and a full list of what will be subject to the new 10% levy.

As part of the United States’ continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released a list of approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to additional tariffs. In accordance with the direction of President Trump, the additional tariffs will be effective starting September 24, 2018, and initially will be in the amount of 10 percent. Starting January 1, 2019, the level of the additional tariffs will increase to 25 percent.
– Office of the United States Trade Representative

Obviously individual small consignments and parcels won’t be subject to these US import tariffs: President Trump is trying to stem the flow of Chinese goods coming in by post in other ways. But if you are an American based merchant buying your stock from China the long list of products may include what you’re buying to sell on. And that will mean a 10% hike in costs from next week and a potential 25% levy starting next year, unless in the unlikely event the new tariffs are rescinded.

From a Chinese perspective, rather worryingly, Alibaba boss Jack Ma thinks that this new system could well last for a long time and persist beyond the Trump Presidency and also start to impact Europe in due course too:

Short term, business communities in China, U.S., Europe will all be in trouble. This thing will last long, if you want short term solution, there is no solution.
– Jack Ma, Founder and CEO, Alibaba



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