Washington — A few dozen plastics items are on three lists of products exempted from the U.S. government's 2018 tariffs on Chinese imports, including various grades of industrial products like vinyl sheet and polyethylene film, along with consumer products like plastic straws.
The U.S. Trade Representative published the three lists Sept. 20, and they include more than 400 products exempted from three rounds of tariffs against China, totaling $250 billion, that were imposed in July, August and September 2018. They were the first phase of U.S. tariffs in the trade conflict with China.
As previously announced by the Trump administration in late 2018, injection molds are exempted. The Sept. 20 lists include injection molds, mold inserts, mold bases and mold base parts from China, along with specialized equipment like some types of vertical or single-shaft shredders for recycling.
At times the exempted products go into granular detail. The exemptions from the July 2018 list include very specific descriptions of PVC sheet of certain widths, for example, and polyacetal brackets, filters or hose fittings, as well as industrial-sized plates of ethylene-vinyl acetate and PE foam.
Plastic consumer products also showed up: the September list included an exemption for polypropylene cups with paper filters for single-cup coffee machines.
Politico reported that USTR did not have an estimate of the value of the exempted products.