Tariff Update: More Food, Dietary Supplement Ingredients Caught in Proposed Second Wave of U.S. Tariffs on China

July 11, 2018

More food and dietary supplement ingredients may be caught in the crosshairs in the growing U.S. China trade war. On Tuesday, July 10, the Trump administration released a proposed second list of $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that will face up to a 10% tariff. This follows the initial $34 billion round of tariffs, followed by another proposed $16 billion in tariffs still awaiting public comment, that Trump officials slapped on more than 800 Chinese goods on July 6.

The second list of proposed tariffs includes some key ingredients to the food and dietary supplement sector. The list includes pork and fish; various vegetables (soybeans, carrots, peas, chickpeas, etc.); various fruits (mangosteen, guava, strawberries, bananas, coconut, etc.); various nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, pistachios); oats, corn, quinoa, and rice; inulin; other herbs and botanicals (seaweed, ephedra, ginseng); cod liver oil; xylitol, cane sugar, and beet sugar; numerous minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium); phospholipids; choline; and more. (CoQ10, an ingredient that was initially included on the first proposed tariff list but ultimately removed, is not included on the newly proposed tariff list.) Click here for the complete list.

The new list is a retaliatory measure following China’s own retaliatory tariffs the country announced after the U.S. unleashed its initial $34 billion in tariffs last week. The U.S. actions are aimed at pressuring China to correct infractions identified by the Trump administration in an ongoing investigation “related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.”

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative docket, “In light of China’s response to the $50 billion action announced in the investigation and its refusal to change its acts, policies, and practices, it has become apparent that U.S. action at this level is not sufficient to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation. Accordingly, the Trade Representative is proposing to modify the action in this investigation by maintaining the original $34 billion action and the proposed $16 billion action, and by taking a further, supplemental action”—the additional 10% ad valorem on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods now proposed.

This second proposed list of tariffs is now open for public comment. Deadline to submit comments is August 17, 2018.