Global Trends

U.S. and China Trade Tariffs – 2020 Update

Following the signing of the US-China Phase One trade deal yesterday, USTR has published the full text of the deal. Both the US and China have agreed to cancel additional tariffs under Section 301 Tariff Lists 4B scheduled to enter into effect on 15 December 2019. China has promised to increase purchases of US agricultural and energy products, as well as adopting policy changes related to intellectual property and forced technology transfers.

In return, the US lifted its designation of China as a currency manipulator. USTR also announced tariff reduction for products on US Section 301 List 4A from 15% to 7.5% will take effect on 14 February 2020, so this will provide some relief on Section 301 List 4A tariffs imposed on packaging and food processing equipment imported from China. Please see the Federal Register Notice published by USTR regarding List 4A tariff reduction.

In terms of the other Section 301 tariffs imposed (including List 3), President Trump said during the news conference and signing yesterday:

“We’re leaving tariffs on, which people were shocked by, but it’s great.  I will agree to take those tariffs off if we are able to do Phase Two…but I am leaving them on because otherwise we have no cards to negotiate with and negotiating with [the Chinese] is very tough.  But they will all come off as soon as we finish Phase Two.”

USTR has indicated it wants to focus on monitoring implementation of Phase 1.  No visibility as to when Phase 2 negotiations will begin in earnest or conclude, and therefore, List 3 and List 4A (reduced) tariffs will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

As a reminder, below are products currently targeted under US Section 301 List 4A:

PMMI Imports from China Targeted on US Section 301 Tariff List 4A - US Import for Consumption In USD

Hts Num


US Section 301 List#

Additional Tariff Rate on top of MFN

2018 Import Value from China


Water containment chambers for the household dishwashing machines and other parts of the same incorporating water containment chambers



- 7.5% decrease (effective 14 February 2020)



Parts of can-sealing machines



Parts of machines for packing tobacco, wrapping candy, cigarette packages and of combination candy cutting and wrapping machines



Bakery machinery and machinery for the manufacture of macaroni, spaghetti or similar products, nesoi



Machinery for the manufacture of confectionery, cocoa or chocolate, nesoi



Machinery for sugar manufacture, nesoi



Brewery machinery, nesoi



Parts of machinery for sugar manufacture, nesoi


Subtotal of PMMI Imports on US Section 301 List 4A