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Robert Shapiro Discusses Effects of China Tariffs on Chemical Industry

May 23, 2024

Thompson Coburn partner Robert Shapiro, who leads the International Trade practice, discussed in an interview with Chemical Processing the potential impact of the Biden administration’s recent announcement that it would increase tariffs on Chinese imports.

Robert noted that key factors the administration will weigh include whether the product is part of an industry already being injured by competition from China, whether it is produced by strategic U.S. trading partners, and its importance to the industries targeted for growth under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and CHIPS Act.

“These factors should be considered dynamically,” Robert said. “For example, duties are less likely to be imposed on products that are vital for the production of semiconductors or EVs in the United States, if those materials are not likely to be available from countries outside of China. The fact that the product may be available at a lower price from Chinese suppliers than they will be from alternative sources is not likely to have a significant impact on the Administration’s decision regarding the imposition of additional duties on the product. In short, it appears that the Administration is applying long-term, strategic reasoning to the determination of whether to impose additional tariffs on a product in order to limit the dependency of the United States on Chinese producers for these products.”

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