WASHINGTON – The worst-case tariff scenario for importers of furniture and a multitude of other product sectors from China came true for now when the existing 10% rate on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China increased to 25% early this morning.
On Thursday, a notice of the increase from the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that was published in the Federal Register made it official, and last-minute talks between Chinese and U.S. negotiators failed to produce a solution to the almost year-long trade dispute between the two countries.
While Thursday’s Federal Register said the U.S. trade representative will “establish a process by which interested persons may request that particular products classified within a tariff subheading … be excluded from additional duties,” that process has yet to be determined.
“In the most recent negotiations, China has chosen to retreat from specific commitments,” the notice read. “In light of the lack of progress in discussions with China, the President has directed the Trade Representative to increase the rate of additional duty to 25%.”
Trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators are expected to continue today.