Articles Posted in #TariffChina

A growing number of Chinese companies are finding ways to evade President Donald Trump’s tariffs: remove the “Made in China” label by shifting manufacturing from China to countries such as Vietnam, Serbia, and Mexico. Chinese factories are moving abroad to skirt higher customs taxes on their exports to the United States and elsewhere, according to public filings. Hl Corp, a Shenzhen-listed bike parts maker, told investors it decided to move production to Vietnam.

On the coast near Ho Chi Minh City, dozens of factories import steel from China, galvanize it, strengthen it and then export it to the U.S. at prices that undercut American producers.

U.S. trade officials, however, say the companies and their Chinese suppliers are guilty of transshipping—routing goods through another country to illicitly disguise their origin.

trade warAccording to a report released earlier this month, U.S. companies are increasingly shifting imports from China to countries like Vietnam, South Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan, in an effort to avoid the high tariffs imposed on Chinese purchases during the current trade war.

With the current trade war waged on China, President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on the purchase of Chinese products. This dramatically increases the overall costs that U.S. companies are looking to spend, causing them to search for new alternatives. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the number of containerized freight imported from China fell 6.4% in the first corner. In order to avoid paying the high tariffs, U.S. companies have rerouted the majority of their purchases to less expensive countries. However, many companies also chose to order mass purchases from China ahead of the tariff increases in an effort to stockpile their products.

Many of the companies choosing to reroute their imports are associated with the furniture industry, but these are not the only markets struggling to avoid tariffs. While large furniture retailers, like Home Depot and Target, decreased Chinese imports by up to 13.5%, appliance retailers like Samsung and LG were also part of a major shift in Chinese imports.

American SuperConducter Inc.A Chinese company, Sinovel Wind Group Co., has been ordered to pay American SuperConducter Inc. (AMSC) $57.5 million after being convicted of multiple charges regarding the theft of proprietary software. This theft resulted in substantial losses for AMSC, including $800 million in revenue and $1 billion in stock market value. Today, the Chinese company has recently made its last installment payment of the agreed-upon settlement, however, the trade theft first began in 2011 in what was expected to be a profitable partnership between the two companies.

Initial Partnership

Originally, AMSC and Sinovel Wind Group Co. worked together in what seemed like a mutually beneficial business partnership. The agreement was that Sinovel Wind Group Co. would produce windmills and purchase $800 million in software from AMSC to control and operate the windmills. However, in 2011, Sinovel Wind Group Co. abruptly ended their agreement and claimed that they no longer needed the software from AMSC to control their windmills.

According to an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal, the heavy tariffs imposed on Chinese goods has resulted in a large increase in tariff evasion schemes by Chinese companies seeking to sell their goods here.  Customs officials, importers and shipping brokers say that the tariff increases are being countered by unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers who are fraudulently shipping products here under false manufacturers codes and through trans-shipping and falsifying the actual country of origin, according to the Wall Street Journal. The result is that the tariffs are failing to protect. The tariff evasion using fraudulent product codes relates to 10-digit designation called an HTS code, of which there are 18,927. These codes are required to identify products and varieties. Unscrupulous manufacturers seeking to evade our tariffs send the products in with codes which designate products which are not on the tariff list.https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-u-s-china-trade-battle-spawns-a-new-era-of-tariff-dodges-1539009200?mod=hp_lead_pos5
One indicator of the misclassification increase is that there were 146 rulings in July, nearly triple the number six months earlier and this is considered the tip of the iceberg. In one example included in the WSJ article, a wood importer in Oregon received a call from a supplier asking if he would like some Chinese plywood tariff free. The importer asked how this would happen and the response was don’t worry about it as the plywood would not contain any Chinese markings and it would be shipped under some other code.
Diamond saw blades made in China now carry  82% tariffs.  In July, two California importers controlled by a Chinese manufacturer tried to dodge the tariff by coding diamond saw blades as grindstonesaccording to Customs. The maker, Danyang Like Tools Manufacturing Co., claimed independent of the California importers but  one of them told the agency Danyang was its owner. The California firms have disputed the charges.

The White House is prepared to announce on Monday or Tuesday that the U.S. will levy new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, according to the Wall Street Journal. The upcoming tariffs is expected to be set on internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards, and consumer goods including Chinese seafood, furniture, and lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles, and car seats for babies. It was unclear if the administration will exempt any of the products that were on the list, which was announced in July. Prior tariffs set  by the two countries have totaled more than $50 billion in reciprocal measures, as China has retaliated against U.S.

Hundreds of billions more in tariffs have been proposed by Trump, but those measures have been delayed while officials determine a final list of products.

Last week, Trump threatened the third round of tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports, covering more than total Chinese exports to the U.S. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against U.S. companies operating there.