BEIJING—China is imposing 25 percent tariffs on ethylene-propylene rubber imported from the U.S., a move that is intended to match the tariffs being imposed by the U.S. on Chinese goods. The tariffs imposed by both countries are to take effect Aug. 23.
China's tariffs, announced earlier this month, will affect more $16 billion worth of products, including EPR in primary forms and EPR with less than 94 percent ethylene by weight. Other products facing tariffs include vehicles, certain rubber-related goods such as halobutyl rubber plate, sheet and belt and chemical raw materials such as 1,3-butadiene and styrene.
Because China's EPR/EPDM sector is highly dependent on imports, the move is expected to lead to increased prices from suppliers such as Dow, Lion Copolymer and ExxonMobil. In July, Merit Trading, the exclusive distributor of a number of Lion's products in China, already raised all its EPDM prices by $218 per metric ton.
The listed products, roughly half of which are vehicles, also include certain rubber-related goods such as halobutyl rubber plate, sheet and belt and chemical raw materials such as 1,3-butadiene and styrene.
Earlier in August China released a broader tariff list covering 5,207 categories of U.S. products—with a wide range of rubber-related ones—worth $60 billion. These products were to face tariffs betwen 5 percent and 25 percent.
The finalized measures and dates of effect will be determined after consideration, said the Mofcom announcement.