No Resolutions In U.S./China Trade Talks As New Tariffs Loom

The potential trade war between the United States and China has manufacturers, retailers, and consumers concerned. The first round of tariffs affected more than 800 Chinese products worth $34 billion, mostly impacting electronics components. Another round of tariffs took place Thursday, August 23rd, affecting another $16 billion worth of goods. The next round of tariffs scheduled to hit, should they go into effect, will have a direct impact on core categories within the lawn, garden, and hardware categories.

Categories possibly affected during the next round of tariffs include:

Tariff ListCountry of OriginCategoryDescriptionTariff IncreaseHearing DeadlinesEffective Date
(arrival in USA)
1ChinaFountainsAll Fountains (with pumps). Birdbaths are not included (no pump)25%7/6/18
1ChinaPlant SupportMoisture/Soil/PH Meters25%7/6/18
2ChinaPlant SupportScare Tape25%7/24/188/23/18
2ChinaPlant SupportTie Tape25%7/24/188/23/18
2ChinaWateringSome Hose Couplings (depends on % of materials)25%7/24/188/23/18
3ChinaAccessoriesFolding Garden Stools/Garden Tote Bags10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaAccessoriesWheelbarrows10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaCuttingShears/Loppers/Pruners/Saws10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaDisplaysMetal Display Racks10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaLightingBamboo Torches/Steel Torches10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaLightingCandles/Decofire/TableTop Torches10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPatioMost Patio Funiture (without fire)10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportBamboo Stakes/U-Hoops10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportCork Saucers10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportHardwood Stakes10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportSteel Stakes10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportTies/Twine/Wire10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaPlant SupportWire Prop-up/Peony Ring/Grow-Thru Grid10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaToolsHand Tools (all with metal including aluminum): Transplanters/Trowels/Cultivators/Fan Rakes/Weeders/Scoops/etc.10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaToolsKids Tools10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaToolsLH Tools: Shovels/Forks/Bow Rake/Hoes/Cultivator/Weeders/etc.10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaToolsRakes10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaWateringHose Coupling/Connectors (remaining ones not on List 2)10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaWateringHoses10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct
3ChinaWateringNozzles/Wands10% or 25%8/20 - 8/23/2018Unknown, possibly Sept/Oct

The United States and China were scheduled to return the negotiating table on August 22 and 23, but reportedly, no progress was made.

According to an August 23 article on Bloomberg.com, “The two sides had met with low expectations for this week’s meetings and no further talks had been scheduled, a person familiar with the discussions said. The person, who requested anonymity to discuss the private deliberations, also said Chinese officials had raised the possibility that no further negotiations could happen until after November’s mid-term elections in the U.S.”

The article continues, “The lack of progress and the looming prospect of further tariffs from both sides adds to the uncertainty for businesses, who have to decide whether it makes sense to invest in China or the U.S., given the rising political tensions and risk of punishing new taxes on trade. A new round of tariffs could come as early September, but there is no guarantee that will be the last, or that there won’t be other measures.”

Additionally, according to Bloomberg, “The Trump administration is preparing a far larger tranche of tariffs covering some 6,000 products from China with an annual import value of $200 billion. That move and the anticipated retaliation from the Chinese would mark the largest escalation so far and start to hit American consumers more directly. The U.S. could impose the duties after a comment period ends Sept. 6.”

The United States is said to be imposing these measures in an effort to correct a $375 billion trade imbalance in China’s favor.

According to a May 3 Reuters article, “Trump has also demanded ‘reciprocity’ between U.S. and Chinese tariffs, frequently complaining about China’s 25 percent car tariff while the U.S. equivalent is 2.5 percent.”

“At the heart of the dispute,” according to Reuters, “are U.S. allegations that Chinese joint venture requirements and other policies force American companies to turn over their intellectual property, costing them billions of dollars annually and giving China’s state enterprises an edge in the race to develop new industries crucial to future growth.”