Firsd Tea applauds the signing of the Phase 1 trade agreement between the US and China as a step toward easing trade tensions between these two nations. We also share the industry’s optimism as to what this agreement means for tea businesses here in North America. We saw firsthand how these tariffs hampered US tea businesses, and are glad to see better days coming soon.
On January 15, 2020 President Trump and Vice Premier Liu He signed a Phase One trade agreement in Washington. The agreement outlines, among other things, agricultural purchases and intellectual property protections that China commits to uphold.
The complete document can be found on the Office of the US Trade Representative website:
ECONOMIC AND TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
UPDATE: NOTICE OF MODIFICATION 2020.01.21
The US Trade Representative website published a notice of modification confirming the reduction of tariff from 15% to 7.5%. Effective date: 14 February 2020.
DOES THE AGREEMENT INCLUDE TEA?
Yes. Under the notification added to the USTR website on 21 January, 2020, tea is included as part of Annex A.
WHEN WILL THE NEW RATES GO INTO EFFECT?
Under the notification added to the USTR website on 21 January, 2020, the new established date is 14 February 2020.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY TEA ORDER?
For the near-term, if not beyond, the tea industry may need to shift its procurement habits to account for fluctuations in import-costs from all countries of origin. Over the past 3 years, the US has sought to redefine its trade relationships with Asia (TPP), North America (NAFTA), and even Argentina. When any and all international trade agreements are up for negotiation, there will be greater advantage for those with more accurate projections who can buy at the right time and place. It behooves tea companies to have a plan and shop wisely.
Please contact Firsd Tea to learn more.