The United States has decided not to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods come the New Year.

As directed by President Donald Trump, the U.S. Trade Representative will not impose a duty increase of 25% on $200 billion worth of product from China under section 301. Instead, China and America have agreed to hold discussions for 90 days to reach an agreement on trade. If there is no agreement after that time, tariffs on Chinese goods will increase from 10% to 25% on March 1, 2019.

Section 301 authorizes the president to take all appropriate action, including retaliation, to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts U.S. commerce.

This is different than Section 232 that cites national security as a reason to impose an increase in tariffs, which the U.S. did on Canadian steel and aluminum.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has updated 19,061 Automated Broker Interface records (allows qualified participants to file import data electronically with CBP) and 3,393 harmonized classification records. The changes include annual special program staged rate reductions mandated by individual free trade agreements. A list of trade agreements can be found at https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements.

These adjustments are effective on Jan. 1, 2019.

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