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Section 301 Update: China Tariffs What does this mean for the supply chain?

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

The Biden Administration decides to keep the China tariffs imposed in 2018 by former president Donald Trump while it continues a statutory review. The initial four-year review of these tariffs continues and will likely continue for months as the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) reviews the Section 301 Tariff Actions Lists.

Requests from domestic industries lists 1 and 2 are continuing with lists 3 and 4a going under review shortly by the USTR. While Inflation continues to rise and disruptions within the supply chain there is much debate on whether the tariffs have been effective for the economy. Rising cost of consumer goods is testing the theory that China would absorb the cost of those tariffs. Tariff relief has been provided by the USTR on a case-by-case basis based upon whether a product could be imported from another country other than China. Companies have been taking advantage of workarounds such as importing from other countries in order to keep costs down.

According to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, imports from the following locations:

  • Vietnam rose by $17.5 billion

  • Europe rose $31.2 Billion

  • Mexico rose $11.6 Billion.

While the Biden administration is under great pressure to make change to the tariffs it looks like they are here to stay for now. What does this entail for our supply chain and the many issues we have been facing?

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