U.S. extends some China tariff exclusions through year-end
The U.S. Trade Representative's office (USTR) said on Tuesday it has extended China tariff exclusions for a wide range of goods, including smart watches and certain medical masks, through the end of 2020, rather than renewing the previous one-year extensions.
The products included a number of Bluetooth and wearable data-transmitting devices, such as those imported from China by Apple Inc, FitBit, Sonos and other technology companies.
Also on the list of extended exclusions were a number of face masks, respirators and other medical products, including stethoscope covers, cotton gauze sponges and blood pressure cuff sleeves. Products ranging from upright pianos to liquid crystal display modules and stainless steel watch cases were also excluded until year-end.
In a Federal Register notice USTR said the extensions applied to products excluded from "Section 301" tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump a year ago on a range of Chinese consumer goods amid tense trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies. The tariffs on some 125 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods were set at 15 percent, then lowered to 7.5 percent by the phase one deal signed in January.
USTR had previously granted one-year exclusions from the tariffs. The Federal Register notice did not indicate a specific reason for extending the exclusions for only four months.
Last week, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held a phone conversation, reaffirming their commitment to the trade deal.
The two sides conducted a constructive dialogue on such issues as strengthening bilateral coordination of macroeconomic policies and the implementation of the China-U.S. phase one economic and trade agreement.