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Tue May 7, 2019

In an abrupt tweet on Sunday, May 5, President Donald Trump announced that the 10-percent tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on List 3 of the Section 301 tariffs will increase to 25 percent on Friday, May 10. The announcement comes between the tenth and eleventh rounds of high-level negotiations on a trade deal between the U.S. and China. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had just returned from Beijing, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to be in Washington on May 9 and 10 for the last round of talks. A deal was expected to be announced by the end of the week. Trump’s announcement came after Lighthizer reported to him that the Chinese were “reneging” on several provisions in the agreement to which they had previously agree. A Federal Register notice of the increase in tariffs is to be published by mid-week. The tariffs on List 3 Chinese imports were to increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019; however, President Trump announced a “truce” on new tariffs while trade negotiations were ongoing during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 1. PLASTICS will continue to follow the negotiations and administration actions closely.