Amid a steep correction in crude prices, China said on Wednesday that it would impose a 25-percent tariff on U.S. imports worth US$16 billion, including crude oil, diesel, cars, coal, and steel products, in retaliation to the U.S. list of US$16 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be taxed by U.S. authorities from August 23.
On Wednesday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of around US$16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25-percent additional tariff as part of the United States’ response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property, the office said.
“This second tranche of additional tariffs under Section 301 follows the first tranche of tariffs on approximately $34 billion of imports from China, which went into effect on July 6,” it added.
China didn’t waste time in retaliating, and said today that its tariffs on 333 U.S. products, including crude oil, would also take effect on August 23.
As the U.S.-China trade spat turns into a full-blown war with tariffs and retaliatory tariffs and threats of further tariffs, U.S. energy exports to China may suffer with Beijing now following through with its threat to slap tariffs on U.S. oil and oil product imports.
China has, in recent years, become a key export market for growing U.S. energy exports. In fact, China is America’s second-largest crude oil customer after Canada. Chinese imports of U.S. crude oil in May, for example, averaged 427,000 bpd, more than any other destination and surpassing Canada’s 289,000 bpd imports, EIA data shows. Related: China’s Oil Futures Jump To Record High
Due to the rising trade tension between China and the United States, the trading arm of Chinese state oil major Sinopec is said to have suspended imports of crude oil from the United States.
Earlier this month, China included for the first time liquefied natural gas (LNG) in its list of goods up for a potential 25-percent import tariff, should the United States impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports.
Last week’s Chinese threat to include LNG on a tariff list has already had Chinese LNG end-users and suppliers saying that they would likely deter spot procurement of U.S. LNG cargoes in the near term if the tariff comes into effect.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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