U.S. / China Tariffs Create Unrest Among Chemical Industry

US / China Tariffs Create Unrest Among Industry.

Consistent back-and-forth tariff announcements over the past two weeks between President Trump and China have the global marketplace on edge, fearing potential trade war inclinations and potential impacts across markets for years to come. Trump’s original tariff on steel and aluminum were aimed to incentivize U.S. companies to buy steel and aluminum from U.S. producers, strengthening the U.S. metal industry.

China’s rebuttal tariffs in March and April primarily target high-value American exports, from airplanes to soybeans.

Although many of the affected products target consumers, the potential impact of continued and ongoing tariffs will likely make its way up the supply chain and reach the petrochemical and derivative markets.

Timeline:

March 8: Trump imposes 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum for China.

March 22: Trump announces tariffs on an additional $50 billion of Chinese goods in response to the alleged theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies. At this time, Trump gave the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Robert Lightizer, a maximum of 15 days to draft a list of targeted products.

March 23: China retaliates, announcing $3 billion in duties on 128 products, ranging from 15–25%.

April 3: USTR releases their list of 1,300 affected products, including flat-screen TVs, medical devices, aircraft parts and more.

April 4: Hours after the U.S. publishes the list of imports subject to new duties, China responds with an additional $50 billion in U.S. tariffs, affecting 106 totals.

Brief List of Impacted Plastic Materials & Products:

Primary Shaped Polycarbonate
Polyethylene, with a primary shape specific gravity of less than 0.94
Acrylonitrile
Primary Shaped Epoxy Resin
Polyethylene Terephthalate Plate Film Foil Strips
Some primary vinyl polymers
Some primary shapes of acrylic polymers
Some primary shapes of pure polyvinyl chloride
Adhesives based on other rubber or plastics
Polyamide-6,6 slices
Some primary-shaped polyethers

Links to read more:

Bloomberg: Tariffs stick it to U.S. Manufacturers

Washington Post: Trump Pushes Back on Fears of a Trade War with China

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