The products subject to the tariff hike are part of the third Section 301 tariff list that was announced in September 2018. New pneumatic radial tires, as well as tire materials, are on that list. According to a follow-up notice issued May 16, products from China that were exported to the U.S. before May 10 and enter U.S. Customs for consumption before June 1, 2019, will be covered under the 10% tariff. Any products that enter into the U.S. on or after June 1, 2019, are subject to the 25% additional tariff, according to the Auto Care Association.
The USTR’s announcement is in response to President Trump’s tweet May 5 pledging to increase tariffs due to lack of progress in discussions with China. Chinese Vice Premier Liu is expected to arrive in Washington on Thursday to continue trade negotiations.
The notice states that an exclusion process will be established for interested parties to file for products to be excluded from the tariff. As of this week, approximately 1,440 out of over 13,700 product exclusion requests from the first two tariff lists have been granted, over 5,000 have been denied and the rest are still pending review, according to the Auto Care Association. The Exclusion Request Form can be found here.
Last October, a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, which included tires and tire-related materials, went into effect. The tariff was slated to increase to 25% by the start of 2019, but Trump delayed the increase in March. New passenger, truck and bus radials are on the list as well as ag, construction and mining tires and their retread equivalents. Tire-related materials, including tire cord fabric of various materials and rubber innertubes, also made the list.