US-President Trump’s tariffs against China imposed also on natural stone imports: 10% since September 2018, 25% from January 01, 2019 on

Donald Trump’s trade war now has reached the natural stone sector.

Can exporters like Brazil, Turkey, India, or Egypt benefit?

Latest news: at the G-20-Summit in December in Buenos Aires, presidents Trump (USA) und Xi (China) postponed the announced new import tariffs and retaliation until March 2019.

At Marmomac 2018 it was not yet a topic because the new tariffs of the Trump administration against imports from China had been published only 2 days before the fair: Since September 24, 2018, on all stone products from China brought to the US will be imposed a tariff of 10%. It will climb to 25% on January 01, 2019.

The list of products released by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) contains raw or processed stone of all sorts. Included are machinery for the processing as well as many tools.

Questions in respect of the new tariffs are:
* Might the Chinese exporters be able to compensate the increase of their prices by bringing down their production costs?
* Will they turn towards other markets?
* Will some of them direct themselves to their home economy which has an annual growth of some 6% and still has many chances open for stone, as said in a lecture at this year’s World Stone Congress in Xiamen?
* Will block imports by China decrease (which would strongly affect Brazil and Turkey)?

On the other hand:
* Recognizing that US-stone producers are not at all able to substitute neither the quantity of imports from China nor Chinese prices – could countries like Brazil, Turkey, India or Egypt increase their shares of the US-market?
* Worth noting here is that the Brazilian Real and the Turkish Lira lost a lot of value in the last years which made their exports to the US cheaper.
* Might even exporters like Spain or Portugal increase their market shares in the US?

An overview of stone imports to the US sorted by exporting countries in June 2018 is given by Stone World magazine.

United States Trade Representative (USTR)

Stone World magazine

Author: Peter Becker

Extract of the list of tariffs imposed on imports from China on September 24, 2018.Extract of the list of tariffs imposed on imports from China on September 24, 2018.





(30.10.2018, USA: 10.30.2018)