Reports last week that already imposed tariffs on Chinese imports into the U.S. will be rolled back in any interim trade accord between the two nations were denied by Trump Administration officials on Friday.
Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, believes the U.S. needs to keep current tariffs in place to guarantee the enforcement of signed provisions and to negotiate additional conditions.
Pres. Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House Friday about the possibility of tariff rollbacks, said, “I haven’t agreed to anything. But we’re getting along very well with China. They want to make a deal. Frankly, they want to make a deal a lot more than I do.”
Meanwhile, the Outdoor Industry Association scored a trade victory for its members last week when the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) announced the U.S. would preserve duty-free market access for backpacks, sport bags and other travel goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program used for developing countries, including Thailand and Indonesia. When it appeared that travel goods sourced from Thailand were in danger of losing duty-free benefits, the trade group made the case that preserving duty-free status was critical in helping outdoor companies diversify their supply chains away from China, lower costs, create new jobs and develop innovative new products.
In another development, the USTR has announced the formal process for companies to file petitions to exclude products sourced from China—including outdoor apparel, footwear, equipment and sporting goods—from the 15 percent punitive tariff that took effect on Sept. 1 (List 4a). Petitions for exclusions may be filed at exclusions.ustr.gov through Jan. 31, 2020. The process does not cover List 4b products that will be subject to an additional 15 percent tariff on Dec. 15.
The OIA is hosting a webinar on the petition process with any new developments on the U.S.-China trade ware on Nov. 14 at 2pm ET.