On August 1, 2018, US Trade Representative Lettershitzer announced that US President Trump had instructed him to take action to raise the tax rate on Chinese goods worth $200 billion from the 10 per cent originally announced to be levied to 25 per cent. To this end, the United States postponed the deadline for the submission of written public comments from August 30, 2018 to September 5, 2018, and extended the time to apply for a hearing to August 13, 2018.
4According to the preliminary list of tariffs announced by the Trump administration announced by the China Textile Federation International Trade Office on July 10, textile products have more than 900 tax codes according to US standards, covering a wide range of areas, including all yarns, fabrics / fabrics of various raw materials (cotton, wool, silk, hemp and chemical fibers), as well as industrial textiles and some textile machinery products. The annual exports to the United States involved are about 4 billion US dollars.
Realistic experience of textile enterprises
Since the beginning of the Sino-US trade war, the news from Trump and the US government has changed day by day, and weavers feel that there is too much uncertainty to keep up with the pace of change.
The relevant person in charge of Shanghai Huashen Import and Export Co., Ltd. said that there are too many uncertain factors, resulting in the current judgment of taking orders is too subjective. It is hoped that the government will give clear guidance to the textile and clothing industry, avoid the harm caused by trade frictions as far as possible, and at the same time improve the investment environment at home, encourage the textile and clothing industry to carry out technological upgrading, and at the same time strengthen the signing of free trade agreements with countries along the routes of ASEAN, the European Union, Belt and Road Initiative and countries in Central and South America, so that China's textile and clothing products can have more sales targets.
Zhang Tong, general manager of Beijing Fengda Technology Co., Ltd., told China Textile Daily: "the tariff has
increased from 10% to 25%, offsetting the export benefits brought about by the recent devaluation of the
RMB." Although ready-made clothing products are not covered under the list, the overall trade situation is
tense. A small part of our company's home textile products are on the list, but the alternative of this product is not strong in other developing countries. As a result, the purchase price of the end customer will be affected and the purchase volume will be reduced. Trump's subsequent policies may involve more clothing products, and we hope that the government will introduce relevant policies to maintain the competitiveness of our products. In the long run, enterprises should still improve their competitiveness, provide middle and high-end products that are not strong alternatives as far as possible, and at the same time expand export areas to ensure trade balance. "
Some home textile and fabric enterprises said that they were preparing new products and proofing in autumn and winter in the past, but they did not dare to accept orders this year. "because the future trade situation is uncertain, it is possible to do more and lose more."
A person in charge of a large export enterprise in Jiangsu said, "Textile products are not sophisticated and have strong substitutability, coupled with low profit margins in the industry, so their ability to withstand pressure has been tested."
The relevant person in charge of Ningbo Gao Import and Export Co., Ltd. believes that the uncertainty of Sino-US trade has increased sharply and there are many variables, so enterprises can only act cautiously. "the devaluation of the RMB is good for the export of Chinese textile and clothing enterprises. In addition, enterprises are constantly improving their independent R & D capabilities, and the new functional fabrics are highly recognized by customers in Europe and the United States. Only by making efforts on innovation and intelligence, can enterprises cope with the complex trade environment. "
The Textile Import and Export Association gives suggestions on how to deal with it.
To this end, the China Textiles Import and Export Chamber of Commerce said that the public review process could have a very positive effect. The US $50 billion tax list covering 1333 eight-digit tariff numbers released in April excluded 515 tax numbers after the public review process. As a result, the Chamber of Commerce advised the affected Chinese enterprises to act immediately, unite with US importers and downstream users, and actively take advantage of the public review process for the $200 billion list conducted between July and September. Strive to exclude the products involved from the final tax list.
The specific recommendations are as follows:
First of all, the enterprise accurately judges whether the product is in the proposed tariff list. As the list published by the US side uses the US tariff code number, which is not consistent with the Chinese tariff code, enterprises should carefully check the product description under the six tariff numbers after initial screening with the top six tax codes in the United States to confirm whether the product is included in the list. If enterprises have any questions about the tax-related issues of their products, they can contact the China Textile Import and Export Chamber of Commerce. )
Second, contact the US importer immediately, ask the US importer to submit comments against the tax, and submit an application to attend a hearing on public comments by August 13, 2018. Submit written comments by August 17, 2018. On September 5, 2018, all written comments are due to be submitted.
In addition, when applying for product exclusion or submitting comments, enterprises suggest to negotiate future tariff cost sharing with buyers as soon as possible, incorporate relevant provisions into the contract or clarify the responsibilities of both parties in writing through supplementary agreements, so as to avoid risks.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce issued a statement on the 2nd in response to the US side's proposal to raise the tax rate on 200 billion US dollars of Chinese imports to the United States. The spokesman said: China is fully prepared for the threat of the US escalating trade war and will have to counter it in order to safeguard national dignity and the interests of the people, defend free trade and the multilateral system, and safeguard the common interests of all countries in the world. At the same time, China has always advocated resolving differences through dialogue, but only if we treat each other as equals and keep our promises.
A real "war" or a fake smoke bomb?
Many companies said in interviews that it was not clear whether the United States really planned to raise the tariff to 25%, or for other purposes. A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said on the 2nd that the United States has made two moves in the past two days. On the one hand, it has issued a statement that it will raise the tax rate on Chinese $200 billion imports to the United States from 10% to 25%. On the other hand, it will spread the wind around and resume negotiations with the Chinese side.
Some clothing exporters said they noticed that Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump (Ivanka Trump) announced in late July that she would close a fashion brand of the same name.
Founded in 2007, the Ivanka Trump brand, which includes clothing, handbags and shoes, was valued at about $100m before Trump took office, according to WWD. During the Trump campaign, Ivanka Trump mostly appeared in public wearing her own brand clothes, which greatly increased the attention of the brand.
Since taking office, Trump has been committed to "made in the United States" and threatened to punish American companies that mainly set up factories overseas by imposing high tariffs. However, almost all Ivanka Trump brands are made overseas, according to a survey by the New York Times. As of December 5, there were 193 batches of Ivanka Trump goods, most of which were shoes and handbags made in China, according to ImportGenius, a trade database. The brand's dresses and shirts are from China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
To this end, many people think that Ivanka Trump's closure of the brand of the same name reveals two signals: one is to further confirm that Chinese-made clothing accounts for a very high share of the American market, and the other is to deal with the Sino-US trade war and "made in the United States." the Trump administration is serious, and Chinese companies should be prepared to deal with it.