Barnes Dennig hosted its second international roundtable on October 30, 2019 to gather companies together to discuss how the tariffs have impacted them and how to reduce the impact tariffs have had on their companies. David Schwartz, practice group leader of international trade at Thompson Hine, joined the discussion to offer his insight.

Tariffs have impacted companies across multiple industries, with tariffs from 10 to 25% on imported goods from China, as well as the retaliatory tariffs other counties are now imposing on the U.S.  The good news is that there are several options that could offer you a way to offset the impact of tariffs on your business:

  1. Exclusion Requests for 232 Tariffs

Product exclusion requests can be requested on a company basis to Department of Commerce. Companies need to support that either the product cannot be obtained in the U.S. or the product can be obtained in the U.S. but not at the production volume necessary.

  1. Exclusion Requests for 301 Tariffs

Product exclusion requests are on an individual product basis.  Product exclusion requests are closed for items on List 1 to 3, but companies can check to see if their product was excluded by utilizing the website below:

https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/search

List 4a items are currently allowed to go through the exclusion process until January 31, 2020.  Companies impacted may want to request exclusions for any products on list 4a.

  1. Duty Drawback

The duty drawback is the process through US Customs and Border Protection that allows for refund of tariffs paid on a product if the product is ultimately exported out of the U.S.

  1. First Sale

Importers pay tariffs on the valuation of the product at its first sale not at the current price. Companies need to be able to support that the first sale price is conducted at arm’s length value.

  1. Raising prices

The most commonly utilized tool to combat tariffs is to pass the price on to the customer. This generally requires good customer relations and clear expectations once the tariffs are removed.

It is important to ensure the cost of freight is broken out on all invoices being subject to tariffs to ensure you are paying the tariff only on the products purchased and not the cost of freight. If you have questions about tariffs or wish to know how your company can be better positioned to compete in 2019 and beyond, have a member of our International team contact you at no charge here, or by calling 513-241-8313