Chinese Rice Imports May Slow Down Says Dean

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Trump administration Monday enacted 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, including brown rice, milled and semi-milled rice, parboiled rice, and broken rice.  The 10 percent tariff will take effect on September 24 and will increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019, bringing the total U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports to more than $250 billion to date. 

President Trump also stated that if China retaliates with more tariffs, the U.S. will impose duties on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods, covering virtually all imports from China. 

China has already announced it will retaliate against these measures by imposing tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. exports on top of existing duties, bringing the total to $113 billion.

This latest episode of the ongoing trade dispute follows meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials last month aimed at easing trade tensions and restoring dialogue, which ultimately failed.  According to the Administration, the period between September 24 and January 1 is a chance for China to change its trade policies that place a discriminatory burden on U.S. commerce before the tariff rate jumps to 25 percent, a demand China has so far been unwilling to meet. 

The U.S. is seeking an end to unfair trade practices regarding technology transfer and intellectual property, and USA Rice is still waiting for the Chinese market to open for U.S. rice. 

"The U.S. is currently an open market for rice and levies effectively zero duties against imported rice, regardless of its origin, yet China currently does not accept U.S.-grown rice," said Bobby Hanks, Louisiana miller and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.  "The new 10 percent tariffs on brown, milled, semi-milled, parboiled, and broken rice from China will go to 25 percent on January 1 which will certainly help stem the rising tide of Chinese rice imports into the U.S."

The Administration's original list of Chinese goods to be included in the tariff was reduced from 6,031 to 5,745 after a six-week public comment period and six days of testimony in August, during which industry leaders submitted their concerns and demands.  Items such as consumer electronics, chemicals for manufacturing, and health and safety products were removed from the list in response to this public feedback.  All rice tariff lines remained on the list. 

The six-month window before duties increase to 25 percent is intended to allow U.S. businesses time to adjust to the change and obtain alternative sources and supplies, if necessary.