China's Ministry of Commerce retaliates against US tariffs on Chinese imports. New Chinese tariffs are to apply to imports of all scrap commodities from the United States, including ferrous and non-ferrous metal scrap, recovered paper and plastic scrap, and to various other goods categories. The 25 per cent import tariff is to apply from 23 August.
These actions have the potential “to destroy what is left of the scrap trade between our countries”, commented Robin Wiener, the president of the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) on Twitter. ISRI has heard from contacts in China that Chinese consumers of US scrap commodities have reacted with “consternation” to the announcement. “Although these tariffs will not be levied on imports from other countries, it is our understanding that other regions may not be able to fulfill all of China's demand,” the US trade body said.
ISRI “regrets that the trade dispute between the United States and China continues to escalate without any indication that the two governments will be negotiating an agreement on trade. There is no doubt that these tariffs will impair the already diminishing scrap exports from the United States to China.”
According to the industry body, the US exported scrap commodities worth $5.6bn to China in 2017. Through the first six months of 2018, the total value of US scrap exports to China was $2.2bn, down 24 percent compared to the same period last year. The decline reflects import bans and higher quality requirements introduced by China.