What are the Tariffs Imposed by USA on China?

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With all the information pouring in about the ongoing US-China trade war, you start to wonder about what exactly it is.

What are the tariffs being implemented?

What products are affected?

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) until now has published 4 (four) sets of tariff lists under the section 301 investigation. The list contains many Chinese imports spanning from industrial to consumer goods.

With roughly half of Chinese imports into the US now affected by the tariffs, read on to find out more about the details.

If you want a quick guide you can also read about the Trade Ware here: A Quick Guide to the Ongoing US-China Trade War

What is section 301?

It is a part of the U.S Trade Act of 1974 that allows the president to take action against a foreign country’s acts, policies, and practices deemed unreasonable and discriminatory or burdening to US commerce.

Under Section 301 investigation, the USTR has determined China’s trade practices as unfair and developed responsive actions against it since.

The 4 (four) particular lists are below:

List 1

List 1 focused on industrial items including machinery, semiconductors, autos, aircraft parts and intermediate electronics components. The list placed 25% tariffs on products worth a total import value of $34 billion and went effective starting 8th July 2018.

You can see the full list here.

List 2

List 2 placed 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese products, effective from 23rd Aug 2018.

You can see the full list here.

List 3

Unlike the previous lists that focused on industrial sectors, list 3 contained many consumer products including food and clothing, worth a total import value of $200 billion. Originally 10% tariff was placed, effective from 24th Sep 2018. On May 5th 2019, Trump announced increased of tariffs from 10% to a 25%, effective from May 10, 2019.

You can see the full list here.

List 4

Released on 13th May 2019, the list essentially encompassed all other China imports not yet affected by the previous tariffs, putting a 25% tariff on Chinese imports worth $300 billion.

It includes many consumer products such as apparel, footwear, textile, cellphones, and laptops, and agricultural products such as the major staples rice and tea. It excludes pharmaceuticals, select medical goods, rare earth materials, and critical minerals.

The deadline for exclusions is July 17, 2019. The implementation date is not finalised.

The US president Trump has currently put implementation on hold and will meet the Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the sidelines of G20 for negotiation.

You can see the full list here.

See the table below for the summary:

Import Value

Number of items (# of HTSUS subheadings)

Tariff Rate

Effective date

List 1

$34 bn



July 8, 2018

List 2

$16 bn



Aug 23, 2018

List 3

$200 bn


10 -> 25%

May 10, 2019

List 4

$300 bn

Abt. 3,805