US seafood will be spared Chinese tariffs if it’s for processing and re-export, Beijing says

The 25 per cent US seafood tariffs announced this month by China apply to products consumed within that nation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 June, 2018, 3:19am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 June, 2018, 3:46am

US seafood sent to China for processing and re-export will be spared retaliatory tariffs, Beijing has said – to the relief of Seattle-based companies that rely on Chinese labour to process salmon, pollock, crab and other products.

The 25 per cent US seafood tariffs announced this month by China apply to all products consumed within that nation.

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Other products – including much of the Alaska salmon, pollock and crab that goes into China – undergo additional processing there, and are then re-exported to other nations. That makes them exempt from the tariffs.

The clarification of China’s tariffs policy was announced by John Henderschedt, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries’ director of international affairs, after consultations with the US embassy in Beijing.

Henderschedt said some fishmeal products also will not be subject to the 25 per cent tariff.

The tariffs are part of an escalating China-US trade clash. China announced them shortly after the Trump administration announced 25 per cent tariffs on about US$34 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States.

Those tariffs, scheduled to take effect July 6, came in response to what the Trump administration said were unfair trade practices by China.

The North Pacific fishing industry, which harvests off Alaska, exported more than US$750 million worth of products to China in 2017.