The United States hiked the import tariffs
on a wide range of Chinese products, including pigments, clays,
and finished refractory products on Friday May 10.
The failure of the latest round of trade
talks between the US and China has meant the US failed to
extend a deadline for the planned ramp-up of tariffs on a list
of products from China.
A list of products, which covers about
$200 billion worth of Chinese goods and was previously taxed at
10% on entry to the US, will now be charged at 25% of their
This move marks the latest escalation of
trade tension between the US and China that has been a feature
of US President Donald Trump’s time in office.
A wider range of minerals were originally
included on the tariff list, first suggested in 2018.
But a number of strategic minerals were
excluded from the final tariff list finally implemented in
September 2018, including graphite, magnesia, alumina and
silicon carbide, antimony, rare earths and barite.
The minerals included on the September
2018 tariff list, including refractory finished products, some
ceramic minerals such as kaolin, lithium and titanium dioxide,
and aluminium hydroxide have been taxed at 10% up until this
The tariff was initially intended to
increase to 25% at the start of the year, but the hike was
delayed as talks went on.
Now, with the failure of the latest round
of talks, all those products previously taxed at 10% will be
taxed at 25%.
A full list of the commodities subject to
the 25% tariff, as first announced in September 2018,
can be seen here.
On Twitter, Trump suggested there may be
some flexibility on the list, saying "waivers on some products
will be granted". But no details were given of which material
could attract tariff waivers.
The US first
imposed sweeping tariffs under its Section 232 trade
legislation on $60 billion worth of Chinese products
in March 2018, including a 25% duty on steel products and a 10%
duty on aluminium.
China has since retaliated with
restrictions on US agricultural exports, leading to a mutual
escalation of trade barriers and hostile rhetoric, which the
latest round of trade talks has failed to resolve.