U.S. And China Reach Phase One Trade Deal

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has issued a press release reporting that the U.S. and China have reached a "phase one" agreement to the trade war between the two countries. Toward that goal, the U.S. has agreed to suspend implementation of additional China 301 duties on what is called List 4B tariff numbers, which had been scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15, 2019. The Vision Council's members were not impacted by List 4B.

Under the phase one agreement, the existing 15 percent China 301 duties currently being assessed on List 4A merchandise will be rolled back to 7.5 percent. This will benefit members importing Chinese origin spectacle lens, spectacle frames, Plano sunglasses, over-the-counter reading glasses, prescription eyeglasses and numerous low vision devices. The USTR did not say when the roll back in duty rates will occur.

However, the existing 25 percent China 301 duties currently being assessed on List 1, List 2 and List 3 goods will remain at 25 percent. This means that members of The Vision Council who import Chinese origin eyeglass cases, cleaning solutions, hand-held and stand magnifiers, various types of production machinery and diagnostic equipment will continue to be subject to a 25 percent additional duty.

The USTR's press release makes a general mention of various concessions being made by the Chinese including promises to buy more U.S. origin goods and structural reforms to its economic and trade regimes.

The Vision Council will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates to members when more details are available.

Any questions about this issue can be directed to Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council regulatory affairs counsel, at rvanarnam@barnesrichardson.com.

Government and Regulatory Affairs
General Updates from The Vision Council
Sunglass & Reader Division
Lens Division
Lab Division
Lens Processing Technology Division
Low Vision Division
Optical Retail Division
Eyewear & Accessories Division