It's now official. Tariffs will be levied on billions of dollars of resin imports and exports between the United States and China starting Aug. 23.
The U.S. Trade Representative announced the widely expected 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese imports on Aug. 7, and Beijing immediately responded with tariffs on U.S. exports.
The American Chemistry Council declined to comment on the latest USTR announcement, but it previously argued against it, estimating that the Chinese retaliatory tariffs would hit $3.2 billion worth of U.S. plastics exports to China, and that the American tariffs would hit $2.2 billion in chemicals and plastics imports from China.
The U.S. government says the tariffs will give it leverage to challenge Beijing's trade policies, adding that it will soon release details on how companies can apply for exclusions.
Those $16 billion in tariffs complete what is considered President Donald Trump's first round of tariffs on China, totaling $50 billion. The first $34 billion in U.S. tariffs, including on Chinese-made plastics equipment, began July 6.
The next round of tariffs also will likely include plastics and chemicals.
The Trump administration has proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports — which ACC estimated includes $16.4 billion in chemicals and plastics. China has responded with a proposed $60 billion in tariffs on U.S. exports. According to ACC's estimate, Beijing's list of 5,200 goods include 1,000 that are chemical and plastic products.
Trump has also threatened to raise those 10 percent tariffs to 25 percent. Hearings on those $200 billion in duties are set to begin Aug. 20.