In July 2018, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started collecting a 25% tariff on 818 imported Chinese products valued at $34 billion. This marked the first in a series of lists of goods to be tariffed in what has become known as the US-China Trade War.
Thanks to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, Donald Trump started an investigation into China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, which in a report by the US Trade Representative (USTR), were found unreasonable and discriminatory.
Trump has long accused China of unfair trading practises and intellectual property theft while in China, the general perception is that the US is trying to hinder its growth.
Trump has since been able to use the report as a legal basis to escalate a series of tariffs against Chinese imports, which China has retaliated against with its own.
The report paints a sinister picture of the Communist Party systematically orchestrating an elaborate plot against American businesses to weaken economic and technological advantages enjoyed by the US, and Since 2018, there have been a further 3 lists of tariffed goods, all of which can be seen here.
The fourth list has been split into two sections; list 4A which went into effect on September 1, 2019, and list 4B, which will go into effect on December 15, 2019.
The goods on these two lists, or combined list 4, are subject to an additional 15% tariff that covers all products not already subject to Section 301 additional tariffs, including all apparel, footwear, books and manufactured textiles among others.
China has plans to hit another 3,000 American products with tariffs by the end of the year.
The USTR announced an exclusion process for U.S. stakeholders from additional duties of certain products on list 4A, which opened on October 31, 2019, and will close January 31, 2020.
Exclusion requests can be submitted through an online portal, which you can find out more about here.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that this continued Trade War could cost world economies £532bn by 2020.