Fashion Intel & Analysis

We often get asked just how much money as the Administration collected from the tariffs imposed on China through the 301 investigation, or on other countries because of the steel and aluminum tariffs. Here’s an update based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trade Statistics.   

As of June 12th, the U.S. collected more than $26.5 billion in additional tariffs
$838 million in Section 201 tariffs on washing machines and on solar panels. 
$1,797 million in Section 232 aluminum tariffs. 
$5,681 million in Section 232 steel tariffs. 
$18,197 million in Section 301 tariffs on goods from China.

Tracking the progress of the U.S.-Mexico migration deal is a top priority for U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), says Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith from CBP’s Office of Trade on this week’s operational update call.  In addition to tracking the progress over the next 45 days, CBP is focused on preparation for the vote and implementation of USMCA, tracking E-commerce activity, and intellectual property protection, says Smith. 

On the call, Smith said CBP continues to track activities in E-commerce space. In the last 5 years, CBP has seen a significant increase in express cargo build and international mail shipments which has created challenges in that environment, including risks associated with IP infringement, safety and public health risks, and importing of illicit goods. Smith said CBP has implemented a significant E-commerce strategy, including requiring the filing of electronic manifest by trucks carrying 321 merchandise and an improvement in officer targeting and trade facilitation efforts to gain greater visibility into what’s in trucks crossing the border. 

Lastly, on the call Smith discussed the efforts CBP has taken related to protection of intellectual property rights. As CBP is focused on supporting border patrol on the processing of migrants, the ability to apply civil enforcement action around illicit trade is being challenged. In FY2018 there were over 500 seizures specifically at southern border ports, and CBP continues to see seizures around jewelry, electronics, and toys coming across the southern border. Smith noted El Paso as a key port where CBP sees significant seizures of counterfeit goods and says they will continue to prioritize intellectual property rights enforcement. 

Widely reported by the media, on Friday President Trump announced that the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement on immigration.  The threat that we would start the week with 5% tariffs on Mexican imports was averted.  “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States,” Trump tweeted.  

The State Department later released a joint declaration outlining the details of the agreement, including plans to continue the discussions “on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.” 

However, it is clear that the dispute could flare up again. Taking to Twitter again, the President announced there is an additional part of the deal that will “be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body.” Trump continued in the tweet, “We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!” For now, we’ll remain optimistic there will be no disruption to U.S.-Mexico trade.   

Today, USFIA and many USFIA member companies joined with Americans for Free Trade to send the final letter to President Trump urging the Administration to remove tariffs and to reach a resolution with China. The final letter had 661 signatures from U.S. companies and associations representing various industries, including retail, tech, manufacturing, and agriculture. The letter has already received exclusive coverage by CNN.

In a CNBC interview this morning, President Trump said the best deal the U.S. could reach with China would involve 25% tariffs on $600 billion of Chinese goods.  The President threatens to impose additional tariffs on the next $300 billion (Tranche 4) if Chinese President Xi Jinping does not meet with him at the G20 summit in Japan later this month. 

During the same interview, the President again claimed that the additional tariffs on China would not have an effect on U.S. consumers, or U.S. companies.  “China will subsidize their product because they want to keep people working. So China is going to pay a lot,” he said. “We have another $300 billion to go with China. I haven’t done that because it’s a very big thing for them, not for us. For us it’s not going to matter because we’ll be able to buy the product in other countries that don’t have the tariffs. So it’s not going to have an effect.”

So, if you’ve been thinking about whether to get engaged in the industry efforts to oppose Tranche 4, we encourage you to say yes. There are lots of options to share your views – both on behalf of your company and on behalf of the industry through USFIA. You can find a recap of recommendations to fight the China tariffs in our recent member update here

As a reminder, Americans for Free Trade will send a letter to the Administration opposing the tariffs. The full letter can be found here. We encourage your company to sign on by June 12th.  To sign on, fill out the Google form here, or email USFIA with your company name, city, state, zip code, and approximate number of company-wide total employment and we will sign on your behalf.