China is moving forward with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including the 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork. China’s Ministry of Finance announced Sunday it will suspend duty reductions on select imported goods from the United States. In the announcement, China says the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. violate World Trade Organization rules, and “did not comply with the security exceptions provision.” China alleges the move by Trump caused “serious damage” to China’s interests.
China added a 15% tariff on U.S. ethanol imports on Monday. This is in addition to an already-imposed duty of 30%, making the total tariff 45% on U.S. ethanol. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:
“Once again we were disappointed to learn of China’s retaliatory actions against ethanol. China was the third-largest market for U.S. ethanol exports in 2016, accounting for almost 20% of total exports. However, once the country imposed its first U.S. ethanol import tariff, shipments to China nearly disappeared. In recent months, U.S. ethanol shipments to China resumed as the cost competitiveness of ethanol produced in the U.S. overwhelmed China’s protectionist policy. The imposition of this new additional tariff will likely again preclude sales to the country.
“This one-two protectionist punch will ultimately harm Chinese consumers who are being denied access to the lowest-cost, highest-octane, and cleanest fuel on the planet. But it will also hurt farmers in the U.S. who have worked to build value-added markets for their commodities here and abroad.
“RFA urges the administration to work aggressively to have this latest attack on America’s rural economy removed as quickly as possible.”
China says the nation is using its action as a method to “safeguard its interest,” as allowed by WTO rules. Last week, China’s Ministry of Finance said the action by the U.S. had “severely damaged” the multilateral trade system. China also made a World Trade Organization filing last week to seek consultations regarding the issue.