To narrow a widening trade surplus, China's Ministry of Finance will adjust export and import duties beginning on June 7, 2007. According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs, China's trade surplus in April doubled March's surplus and is now US$16.88 billion. To restrain the growth of major polluters and slow down the export of valuable resources, 142 low-end and resource products will be subject to additional export tariffs. The government is also imposing 5 to 10 percent export tariffs on steel products including steel wire, sheets and plates. Steel billets, ingots and pig iron export tariffs will be raised from 10 to 15 percent. To further curb the increasing trade surplus, China has removed or lowered export tax rebates on a number of products.

As China raises export tariffs, it will also temporarily lower import tariffs on some resource products and component parts. Import tariffs on coal and fuel oil will not exceed 3 percent while tariffs on imported component parts for televisions, refrigerators and other goods will be set at between 2 and 6 percent. To boost consumption, import duties on home appliances, kitchenware and construction materials and infant formula will be lowered to between 6 and 17 percent.

Squire Sanders has an exceptional depth of experience in successfully dealing with the full spectrum of international trade issues in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With intimate familiarity with government regulations, agency practice, the interagency process and government decision makers, our lawyers assist clients with some of the most challenging legal issues that arise in the conduct of international trade. For further information regarding China's export tariffs and import duties, please contact your principal Squire Sanders lawyer or one of the individuals listed in this Alert.