U.S. to Slap 10 Percent Tariff on Remaining Chinese Goods as of September 1

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—President Trump tweeted yesterday that he intends to subject the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports to a 10 percent tariff as of Sept. 1, 2019. According to the tweet, the increased tariffs are the result of China’s failure to purchase large quantities of U.S. agricultural products and its inability to stop the flow of Chinese-origin Fentanyl into the U.S. Consequently, Chinese-origin spectacle lenses, spectacle frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, eyeglasses, safety glasses, goggles and many low vision devices will be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff starting Sept. 1, unless all or some of these products are excluded from the final list of tariff numbers subject to the increased duties, according to a memo issued by The Vision Council yesterday to its members.

The Vision Council said it has taken steps to remove these items from the fourth tranche of tariff numbers scheduled to be subjected to additional customs duties under section 301 of the U.S. trade laws. That process is still in progress but will now have to be finalized before Sept. 1. The chance of optical products being removed from the final list is not likely, and companies should plan accordingly, the organization said.

President Trump’s tweet does nothing to remove the China 301 tariffs currently in effect. The Vision Council members impacted by those tariffs corresponding with China 301 lists 1, 2 and 3, will continue to be assessed an additional 25 percent tariff on goods originating in China.

VMAIL reported in June that The Vision Council, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, National Association of Opticians and Optometrists, Opticians Association of America, National Association of Vision Care Plans, Prevent Blindness, and OneSight jointly filed a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in opposition of the China 301 duties on optical products.

The Vision Council members who have questions concerning the tariffs can direct them to Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council regulatory affairs counsel, at rvanarnam@barnesrichardson.com.