UPDATE: August 2, 2019: In a statement released by the American Apparel and Footwear Association following the announcement of planned tariffs, CEO Rick Helfenbein said, “Tariffs are taxes on American consumers. The President’s decision to proceed with adding these additional costs for hard-working American families is truly shocking.” A statement released by the National Retail Federation stated, “[W]e support the administration’s goal of restructuring the U.S.-China trade relationship. But we are disappointed the administration is doubling-down on a flawed tariff strategy that is already slowing U.S. economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment.”
- The U.S. will impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion worth of imports from China, known as list four, beginning Sept. 1, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. Trump told reporters outside the White House Thursday negotiators from the U.S. and China would meet again in early September.
- The series of tweets that initially announced the tariffs would be imposed came after U.S. representatives returned from trade talks with Chinese officials. Trump described the talks as "constructive," but said China had agreed to buy agricultural products from the U.S. "in large quantities but did not do so." Trump said the negotiations between the two nations will continue, but alluded to the possibility the 10% duty rate could increase or decrease, depending on the outcome of negotiations."It can be lifted up to well beyond 25%," he told reporters. "But we’re not looking to do that necessarily."
- Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said China is prepared to retaliate with "necessary countermeasures," according to multiple news reports.
Unless something changes, every good coming into the U.S. from China, except those with exemptions, will likely have an import tax ranging from 10% to 25% beginning next month.
The tranche four tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods have been in limbo for several months, first as a repeated threat from Trump, via speeches and twitter.
The threat came closer to reality in May when USTR released a 136-page list of products to face tariffs up to 25% and held a comment period plus seven days of public hearings on the matter. In late June, Trump said he wouldn't impose the list four tariffs "for the time being."
Executives on earnings calls have warned about the effects of tranche four tariffs on their businesses, noting the potential for eroding margins and higher costs being passed on to consumers. Macy's called this round "the big one." The National Retail Federation said tariffs at 25% would be "too large" for retailers to absorb, though it did not specify at the time how 10% tariffs would affect retailers.