The U.S.- China trade war tensions heightens once more on Friday as Beijing announced a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.
The tariffs of 5% or 10% on US imports will start on 1 Sep, according to a statement posted by China’s Finance Ministry. Some products will be also subject to tariffs with effect from 15 December.
The new tariffs will target 5,078 products, including soybeans, coffee, whiskey, seafood and crude oil. Some timber products are also on the list.
According to news released by American Hardwood Export Council, some timber products to be affected by this round of duties include major hardwood products such as beech logs and birch logs below 15cm.
NHLA also stated in their news release that all tariff levels in the document are subject to change without prior notice and there is a possibility more products could be announced. The AHEC team in Hong Kong is working with the US Embassy in Beijing to clarify the situation and provide updates as developments are made. NHLA will pass along these updates as soon as they receive them.
Upon review, many of the HS codes refer to products (including tropical timbers) that were not previously included in the tariffs. However, some US hardwood products already at 5%, 20%, or 25% tariff will receive an additional 10% or 5% tariff. Some of the main products are:
44079980 – “Other Temperate Non-Coniferous Lumber” – 10% on Sept 1st (was at 20%)
44012200 – “Hardwood Chips or Pellets” – 10% on Dec 15th (was at 25%)
44039300, 44039400 – “Beech Logs” – 10% on Dec 15th (not previously included)
44039600 – “Birch Logs <15cm diameter” – 10% on Dec 15th (not prev. included)
44039950 – “Ash Logs” – 10% on Dec 15th (not prev. included)
44079930 – “North American Hardwood Lumber” inc., Maple, Black Walnut, Western Red Alder, Yellow Poplar – 5% on Dec 15th (was at 5%)
44089011 – “Other non-coniferous, non-tropical veneer” – 5% on Dec 15th (was at 20%)<
One important note: in many databases the 44079930 HS code lists Cherry lumber as an example. However, in previous rounds of Chinese tariffs, Cherry lumber was listed specifically at 20% with HS code 44079400. As of today, the interpretation is that an additional 5% will not be applied to Cherry, even though it is an example in many HS code databases. For the purpose of previous tariffs, this “North American Hardwood Lumber” category included walnut, maple, yellow poplar, western red alder, and “other temperate species” besides oak, ash, and cherry.
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S RESPONSE
The retaliatory tariffs came about after the U.S. announced it would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $300 billion.
The U.S. postponed the implementation of about half of those tariffs, which will cover several categories of Chinese-made consumer goods, until December. They had been due to take effect in September.
U.S. President Donald Trump responded swiftly, saying Friday afternoon he was increasing rates on existing tariffs on Chinese goods.