International Trade Current Affairs - 2019

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China imposes additional duties on US $50 billion worth of American products

China in tit-for-tat action has imposed additional tariffs and duties on $50-billion worth of American products. It comes after US President Donald Trump slapped stiff 25% tariff on Chinese goods worth similar amount. This has triggered full-fledged trade war between world’s two largest economies.

Key Facts

The decision was taken in line with relevant stipulations of Foreign Trade Law of China and Regulations of China on Import and Export Duties, as well as fundamental principles of international laws. China imposed additional duties of 25% on 659 items of American products. Out of the 659 items, tariffs on 545 items worth about $34 billion including agricultural products aquatic products and vehicles will be effective from July 2018. The tariffs on remaining 114 items, which include chemical products, medical equipment and energy products, will be declared later. With this, trade conditions of these goods will affect relevant producers and trade companies as well as production and operation of upstream and downstream industries.


US had announced additional tariffs of 25% on Chinese imports worth approximately $50 billion, accusing it of intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices. US also had notified that it will continue to impose additional tariffs if China takes retaliatory measures

The move to impose import tariffs came as two countries held several rounds of talks following US President Donald Trump’s demand to slash bilateral trade deficit by $100 billion in month followed by $200 billion to address $375-billion deficit.

In mid-May 2018, both countries had announced cease-fire in trade war after two rounds of trade negotiations. In the first round, China had agreed to significantly increase purchases of US agricultural and energy products to reduce trade imbalance. But the second round of trade talks in Beijing failed to yield any breakthroughs. Moreover, US President’s decision to impose fresh tariffs on China follows his recent imposition of steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, European Union (EU) and Mexico on national security grounds.

Union Government imposes safeguard duty on certain steel imports

The Union Government has imposed safeguard duty on import of certain steel products to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap in-bound shipments.

It was imposed by the Revenue Department on steel products like hot rolled flat sheets and plates of alloy (excluding hot rolled flat products in coil form) or non-alloy steel.

Key Facts

  • The effective duty rate will be calculated after deducting value of goods and the anti-dumping duty payable when import price is below $504 per tonne.
  • The duty arrived at would be 10% in the first year and will gradually reduce to 8% by 2018 and 6% by 2019.


The Director General (Safeguard), in his final findings in August 2016 had found that increased imports of these steel products into India have caused serious injury to the domestic producers. Thereby it was necessary to impose safeguard duty on imports of steel products into India. Earlier, India had imposed anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations including China and South Korea.

What is Safeguard Duty?

The safeguard duty is tariff barrier imposed by government on the commodities to ensure that imports in excessive quantities do not harm the domestic industry. It is temporary measure undertaken by government in defence of the domestic industry which is harmed or has potential threat getting hared due to sudden cheap surge in imports.