The U.S. and China announced a “cease fire” in the ongoing trade war. The quick bottom line: while there is still much uncertainty, at least this delays increasing List 3 duties to 25% next month, and delays perhaps indefinitely implementation of the feared “List 4”, the “everything else list” (everything we import from China that has not yet been hit by tariffs), which would include footwear, apparel, consumer electronics, etc. So, at least for now, List 4 is off the table.

According to the official White House, the U.S. will not increase the List 3 duties from 10 to 25 percent on January 1 while the U.S. and China will begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. The negotiations are supposed to conclude within 90 days. If the parties do not reach agreement at that time, the 10 percent tariffs will then increase to 25 percent. A copy of the full statement is below.

While it is certainly positive news that there is a ceasefire, it is unclear what will happen with the negotiations, whether the ceasefire will be extended if negotiations aren’t concluded within the 90 days, etc.

Comments from Peter Friedmann. Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association.