The new tariffs take effect on 24 September 2018 with the imposition of a 10% tariff which will increase to 25% by the end of the year. AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle, testified on 24 August on behalf of the ports association, during the US Trade Representative’s Section 301 tariff hearings, noting that the impact of expanding Section 301 tariffs on cargo and equipment moving through US ports 'is already proving to be significant':
Including the additional $200 billion just imposed, the total Section 301 tariffs on Chinese commodities and China’s response in retaliation responses covers about 10% of all trade that moves through America’s ports by value, which is concerning.
However, he expressed his satisfaction for the fact that port cranes (tariff line 8426.19) were removed from the list, as per AAPA recommendation at the recent hearings.
Tariffs on these cranes, which cost upwards of $14 million each, would have harmed ports’ ability to make the investments necessary to handle the larger vessels now being used in ocean trade and hurt US international competitiveness. Because trade supports everyone, AAPA is encouraging federal policymakers to work swiftly to restore market certainties and forge paths to expand US exports, rather than create new import restrictions,
At $4.6 trillion a year, the value of cargo activities at America’s seaports are significant drivers of the US economy, supporting more than 23 million American jobs and generating over $320 billion in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but 1% of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities.
During the USTR’s Section 301 hearings in late August, AAPA urged that the multi-million-dollar container cranes that US ports have on order and are considering purchasing from Chinese factories, for which there are no American-made alternatives, be exempt from tariffs. USTR did remove tariff line 8426.19 from the final list so these large cranes are not subject to the newly announced tariffs.