Aug 6, 2018
China plans tariffs on $60 billion of imports

China announced, on Aug 3, that it would match the Trump Administration’s recent increase in tariffs with an additional $60 billion in retaliation on U.S. goods. It is not immediately known which products will be included on the new list, the National Potato Council (NPC) said, but since U.S. agriculture runs a strong surplus with that country, it is assumed that at least some ag products will appear.

“We continue to work with the Administration in quantifying the potential damage that can occur from the announced tariffs or those likely to occur in the near future such as China’s statement today. It is extremely important that all sides come to the table and negotiate in good faith. As we saw with the Mexican trucking dispute, the impact of these retaliatory actions can have long-term impacts on the supply chain,” said Kam Quarles, vice president of public policy for NPC.

The retaliation stands to further inflame tensions between the world’s two biggest economies and echoes China’s response to the previous round of tariffs which took effect last month, the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) said. From an initial list of imports, the U.S. exports of frozen and dehydrated potatoes will have an additional tax of 10 and 25 percent respectively according to the WSPC. For the 2017 calendar year over $83 million dollars worth of frozen fries and $5 million in dehydrated potatoes where exported from the U.S. to China. For the same respective time period in 2017 over $54 million of U.S. frozen fry exports to China originated from Washington State.

This latest announcement brings to nearly $100 billion the total amount that China intends to retaliate against U.S. exports. In response, USDA is attempting to develop a “mitigation” program to deal with the impact. The total announced size of that program is $12 billion.


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