United States and China Reach Phase One Trade Agreement

Late last week, the United States and China announced a partial trade deal that addresses several key issues and deescalates the trade dispute that has been ongoing for nearly two years.
In response to several concessions made by China, the U.S. agreed not to proceed with the additional 15% tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15, 2019, known as List 4b.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following fishing tackle products:

  • 9507.10.00 Fishing rods and parts and accessories thereof
  • 9507.30.20 Fishing reels, valued not over $2.70 each
  • 9507.30.40 Fishing reels, valued over $2.70 but not over $8.45 each
  • 9507.90.60 Fish landing nets, butterfly nets and similar nets
  • 9507.90.80 Line fishing tackle nesoi, decoy birds and similar hunting or shooting equipment and parts and access. thereof

In addition, it is expected that the additional tariff rate for products on List 4a, which went into effect on September 1, 2019, will be reduced from 15% to 7.5%. However, this reduction has not been officially announced at this time.

List 4a includes, but is not limited to, the following fishing tackle products:

  • 9507.20.40 Fish hooks, snelled
  • 9507.20.80 Fish hooks, not snelled
  • 9507.30.60 Fishing reels, valued over $8.45 each
  • 9507.30.80 Parts and accessories for fishing reels
  • 9507.90.20 Fishing line, put up and packaged for retail sale
  • 9507.90.40 Fishing casts or leaders
  • 9507.90.70 Artificial baits and flies

No changes were announced for the exclusion process on List 4a.

For ASA member companies still interested in applying for an exclusion from these tariffs, please see the previous ASA policy alert. The deadline for exclusion requests is January 31, 2020.

In addition, no changes were announced for the 25% tariffs in effect on products on Lists 1, 2 and 3.

“We are grateful for this partial trade deal that begins to address unfair Chinese trade practices and reduces or eliminates the tariffs that have been causing significant challenges and uncertainty for the sportfishing industry,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association.

Leonard further noted, “While we continue to support the Trump administration’s overall efforts to reach a more favorable trade relationship with China, tariffs have a disproportionate impact on the sportfishing industry given the existing federal excise tax on fishing equipment that helps fund conservation. We hope that both sides will continue working together to reach a more comprehensive deal in the very near future.”

According to the U.S. Trade Representative, the “Phase One” trade deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement.