Apr 2, 2018
China’s tariff hikes hit fruit categories, including apples

According to media reports, China is placing new tariffs on 128 products bought from the U.S. as retaliation against taxes approved by President Trump on imported steel and aluminum.

The new tariffs will go effect today, April 2, the Chinese finance ministry said in a statement. The announcement follows through on warnings Chinese officials have made for several weeks in an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

China’s Customs Tariff Commission is increasing the tariff rate on eight imported U.S. products, including pork, by 25 percent. It’s also imposing a new 15 percent tariff on 120 imported U.S. commodities, including fruits. Those include: Apples, fresh or dried; coconut, fresh and dried; bananas, fresh or dried; pineapple; pomegranates; mangos; grapefruit; grapes; watermelon; cherries; strawberries; dried apricots

The tariffs mirror Mr. Trump’s 25 percent charge on imported steel and 15 percent hike on aluminum. Mr. Trump’s tariffs are partly a response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

Below are some of the products that will face tariffs from China:


Most goods targeted for 25 percent tariffs are varieties of pork, for which China is the No. 3 American export market.


Fresh and chilled bone-in pork forelegs and hind legs, chilled whole and half hog heads, pork liver, chopped pork, other fresh and chilled pork


Scrap aluminum


Chinese regulators also imposed 15 percent duties on apples, almonds and dozens of types of fruit


Apples, fresh or dried; coconut, fresh and dried; bananas, fresh or dried; pineapple; pomegranates; mangos; grapefruit; grapes; watermelon; cherries; strawberries; dried apricots


Brazil nuts, cashews, almond kernels, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts


Sparkling wine




Stainless steel and alloy pipe used for petroleum or natural gas, multiple diameters

In a statement issued April 1 that went into effect April 2, the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China, as of April 2, 2018, China has suspended tariff reduction obligations on certain imported goods originating in the United States.

The statement reads:

“With the approval of the State Council, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to suspend duty concessions on certain imported goods originating in the United States and implemented it on April 2, 2018.

On March 8, 2018, U.S. President Trump signed an announcement confirming that imported steel and aluminum products threatened US national security and decided to impose tariffs (ie 232 measures) on imported steel and aluminum products from March 23. The 232 measures violated the relevant rules of the World Trade Organization and did not comply with the “security exceptions” provision, which actually constituted safeguard measures.

This measure was implemented on March 23 and caused serious damage to our country’s interests. In order to safeguard China’s interests and balance the losses caused by the U.S. 232 measures to China’s interests, I have suspended duties on seven categories of 128 imported goods originating in the United States from duty duties on April 2, 2018, based on the current applicable tariff rates. Tariffs have been imposed on the importation of tariffs on 120 items of imported goods such as fruits and products, and a tariff rate of 25 percent on eight items such as pork and products. The current policy of tax-free and tax-exemption remains unchanged.

China’s advocacy and support for the multilateral trading system and the suspension of tariff concessions to the United States are legitimate measures taken by China to use the rules of the World Trade Organization and safeguard its interests.”

As was previously reported on March 23, Jim Bair, president & CEO, U.S. Apple Association, issued the following statement regarding the potential for China tariff retaliation on U.S. apples.

“The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is extremely disappointed that apple growers have been caught in the crosshairs of what seems will be a trade war between the White House and the Chinese government. With apples being included on China’s list of retaliatory tariffs, U.S. growers face losing an important and expanding export market, to which access was a hard fought battle.

“The U.S. apple industry worked very hard over years, and in 2015 finally achieved full access to the Chinese market, just as China has access to our market. We are competing, and winning, with our exports to China growing nicely from zero to about 2.5 million boxes per year.  China’s retaliatory response to U.S. tariffs are just the latest chapter in a long and sad story where U.S. apple growers get hurt in a fight we didn’t start and in which we have no interest.

“Within three years, China has become our 10th largest market and has tremendous promise for continued growth. Even the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office lists U.S. apple exports to China as one of the country’s top export success stories. Because China doesn’t grow a diverse variety of apples, there is a high demand by its consumers for the many unique varieties offered by the U.S.

“Trade is extremely important to the U.S. apple industry. We urge the administration and China to quickly resolve the trade dispute so that our apple exports won’t be disrupted.

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