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USTR makes it official: Extra tariff to be imposed Sunday is increased to 15%

Published August 30, 2019
The increased tariff will be imposed on a wide variety of bike parts, accessories, and apparel, including lights and helmets.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Chinese products that were set to receive an additional 10% tariff starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, will now be receiving a 15% additional tariff, instead, the U.S. Trade Representive said in a Federal Register post Friday.

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The list to receive the extra tariff Sunday includes nearly all the bike products that escaped earlier Trump administration tariffs. That includes a wide variety of parts & accessories and apparel, including lights and helmets. One significant product category escaped the Sept. 1 tariff — balance bikes, which will not receive the extra tariff until Dec. 15. The extra tariff imposed starting Dec. 15 will also now be 15%, instead of 10%.

Earlier this month the USTR released two lists of product categories — List 4a and List 4b. Categories on List 4b would have their extra tariff delayed to December out of concern for the holiday shopping season, while the 4a products will get the increase Sept. 1. 

Later, the USTR clarified that there was no wiggle room on the date. Any item that arrived at Customs in the U.S. or left a warehouse behind Customs after 12:01 will get the new tariff. On previous tariffs, the USTR has allowed shipments that were on the water at the time the tariff was announced to enter the U.S. without the additional tariff. 

Besides helmets and lights, List 4a includes products imported under the catchall HTS code of 8714.99.8000. Products that come in under that code include baby carriers, kickstands, wire baskets, carriers and racks, chain tensioners, toe clips, fenders, most handlebars and stems, seatposts, reflectors, headsets, horns, and shocks. Items under this code were previously subject to a 10% tariffs, so they will be subject to a 25% tariff starting Sept. 1. The U.S. imported $41 million worth of items under this code last year (see: What we imported from China in 2018). 

Most lights previously had no tariff, so the total tariff will be 15% after Sept. 1. Lights that mount to the arm, leg, or helmet had an existing 3.5% tariff, so the total tariff on those will now be 18.5%. 

Helmets had no previous tariff. 

Protective sunglasses and goggles also will receive the 15% tariff starting Sunday. 

President Donald Trump had announced the increase from 10% to 15% in a tweet last Friday, soon after China announced retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including crude oil.

"China's most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on U.S. goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate," Joseph Barloon, the USTR's general counsel, wrote in the Federal Register notice on Friday. 

Topics associated with this article: Tariffs

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