Fashion Intel & Analysis

At this week's AGOA Forum in Cote d'Ivoire Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney said that the Trump Administration supports the African Continental Free Trade Area.  In the statement from USTR Mahoney said "The United States and the African Union share a mutual desire to pursue deeper trade and investment ties beyond the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is scheduled to expire in 2025, eventually leading to a continental trade partnership between the United States and Africa that supports regional integration."  

Update on the China Tariffs

There remain a lot of unanswered questions about the Trump Administration action to impose tariffs on List 4 products on September 1st. Here is what we know so far:  

What Products Are Covered by This Action?

USTR plans to publish a Federal Register notice that will list the products that will be charged the 10% tariff.   A USTR spokesperson told the press that the list may reflect revisions based on the public comments and testimony at the June hearing.   

What Is the Timing for the Tariffs?  

While the President said the tariffs go into effect on September 1st, the big question is whether the tariffs will be assessed based on date of import into the U.S., or based on date of export from China. Administration officials say that this is a policy decision that will be announced by USTR.  

In remarks to the press Thursday afternoon, the President said that there will not be negotiations with China to try to avoid the imposition of the additional tariffs.  

What Is the Chinese Response? 

Not surprisingly, Chinese officials are quoted as saying China will take “countermeasures”  if the tariffs go into effect.  The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke during a meeting of South East Asian ministers in Bangkok and said “Adding tariffs is definitely not a constructive way to resolve economic and trade frictions, it's not the correct way." 

What Can Brands and Retailers Do?  

Politically, we encourage everyone to look for opportunities to engage with your Members of Congress and with your Senators while they are home for the August recess.  Until now many Members of Congress have hesitated to speak out publicly against the tariffs in hopes that the Administration would successfully negotiate a new trade deal.  And in meetings, they often say that they have not heard from many constituents complaining about the impact of the tariffs.  So it is important that we take advantage of all opportunities to express our concerns.  If you would like contact information for your Members of Congress, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

In today’s Sourcing Journal, USFIA speaks out against the tariffs.

Interested in more background and insights about the President’s decision?  
Take a look at the remarks yesterday to the press gaggle

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China resumed this week as USTR Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled to Shanghai. The White House released a statement today saying the meetings were constructive, and the next meeting is expected in Washington, D.C. in early September. 

Unfortunately, President Trump has decided to up the ante in trade war with China. While we do not have any details, the President tweeted that a 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports will go into effect September 1. We will share more details when they are available.  

President Trump met with President Battulga of Mongolia today to discuss opportunities to enhance the U.S.-Mongolia relationship. Following the meeting, the White House issued a fact sheet on expanding our security and economic partnership with Mongolia. The notice says President Trump and President Battulga are engaging on a range of issues, including defense and security, trade and investment, and sovereignty and rule of law. 

On expanding economic opportunities, the notice says the U.S. is working closely with Mongolia to bolster economic opportunities and increase bilateral trade. The U.S. urges Mongolia to fully implement the 2017 transparency agreement between our two countries and commits to working with Mongolia to improve opportunities for investment, invest in infrastructure, and enhance education. There is no mention of Administration support for the Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act, which would grant duty-free benefits to cashmere imports.   Politico reported that the Mongolian President planned to ask for President Trump’s support.