China, U.S. give green light to latest tariffs

By Charlotte McLaughlin, Sep 21, 2018, 15:38 2 minute reading

The import taxes, which include tariffs on HVAC&R products, will launch next week.

Further enflaming the trade war between the U.S. and China, the two countries announced this week that they plan to go ahead with tariffs on billions of dollars of products, including HVAC&R equipment. 

Both tariff measures will take effect on September 24th.

The U.S. announced in July 2018 that it would roll out a 10% import tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese products. (The percentage would increase to 25% starting in 2019 absent a new trade deal, according to the BBC.) This represented the latest round of tariffs on China, following two earlier rounds in which the U.S. placed 25% taxes on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, with Beijing retaliating with its own tariffs on U.S. exports. President Trump warned that if China retaliates again as planned the U.S. would impose fresh tariffs on $267 billion worth of Chinese products, reported the BBC; at that point virtually all of China’s exports would be subject to duties.

After a series of public meetings in Washington, D.C., in August, the U.S. revised its July announcement down somewhat.  

“The list [now] contains 5,745 full or partial lines of the original 6,031 tariff lines that were on a proposed list of Chinese imports announced on July 10, 2018,” according to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). “Changes to the proposed list were made after USTR and the interagency Section 301 Committee sought and received comments over a six-week period and testimony during a six-day public hearing in August.“

All the Chinese HVAC&R products, which this website cited in July, remain on the list, including exports of air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, two types of ammonia (anhydrous ammonia and ammonia in aqueous solution), HVAC&R components and some HCFCs. 

AHRI (the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute) has already stated the ongoing trade war is “disruptive” and has led to price increases.

Francis J. Dietz, vice-president, public affairs at AHRI, told this website in July, “Many of these tariffs have forced our members to raise prices to cover the increased cost of raw materials, which is unfortunate.”

According to the New York Times, combining previous levies by the U.S. on China and this new batch, soon over 50% of Chinese imports into the U.S. will be taxed. 

Similarly, the Chinese government’s response will be revised down from last month.

The range of 5,207 items imported from the United States – worth about $60 billion – remains the same and will include home refrigerators, chest freezers air conditioners, CO2 compressors, other compressors and refrigeration/heat pump parts, among other HVAC&R products. 

But the tariffs planned by China – at rates of 25%, 20%, 15%, 10% and 5% – will be applied in some cases to different products than originally announced.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Sep 21, 2018, 15:38

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