Trump Administration and China Reach Initial Deal on Tariffs

Last week, the Trump administration and China reached a partial deal – known as the Phase One Trade Agreement – to deescalate the ongoing trade war. While some details of the agreement have yet to be released – including the timeline for implementation – NMMA welcomed the news and urged both parties to keep negotiating until all tariffs are removed.

“We are grateful that the U.S. and China reached an initial deal to deescalate the trade war, which cancels a range of tariffs on marine products that were scheduled to take effect over the weekend and slashes in half existing tariffs on certain fishing gear and tackle, inflatables, and water sport equipment,” said NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros.

“While several of the agreement’s details continue to remain under wraps – including when the existing tariffs will be rolled back – we are disappointed that the administration has kept in place the 25 percent tariff on approximately $250 billion worth of products. This deal is not the finish line, and the recreational boating industry will celebrate only after all tariffs on more than 400 commonly used marine items are lifted. It is vital that the administration capitalizes on this first step and strikes a comprehensive agreement that eliminates tariffs and puts American businesses and workers on a level playing field.”

Below is a summary of how the agreement will impact the recreational boating industry’s products on the Section 301 tariff lists. For more information, please contact NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org or NMMA director of federal government affairs, Clay Crabtree at ccrabtree@nmma.org.


List 4A – Reduced (Tariff is reduced from 15% to 7.5%)

  • The 15 percent tariff – which went into effect on September 1, 2019 – will be reduced to 7.5 percent, though a timeline for the reduction has not been announced. The products on this list include floating docks, fishing equipment, wake equipment and other water sport equipment. The exclusion process for products on List 4A remains open until Friday, January 31, 2020. The U.S. Trade Representative has posted instructions and NMMA stands ready to assist stakeholders throughout the exclusion process.

List 4B – Cancelled (Tariff will not go into effect)

  • The 15 percent tariff was scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15; however, the Trump administration has cancelled the tariff. The products on this list included life jackets, personal flotation devices, and some fishing gear and tackle.

Lists 1-3 – No Change (Tariff remains at 25%)

  • The 25 percent tariff will ¬remain in effect on $250 billion of Chinese imports—which includes marine products on List 1, List 2 and List 3. The products on these lists include anchors, antenna receivers, boats, fiberglass, fish finders, fuel injection pumps, propellers, rope, seats, trailer tires, and miscellaneous plastic metal and rubber parts for boat equipment.