A tariff on the import of arts and antiques from China entering the USA has recently been dropped following a legal battle.
The US government wanted to impose a 10% tariff on the import of Chinese goods into the USA, rising to 25% in 2019. This tariff was due to apply to any Chinese art or antiques made in the Asian nation but later exported from any region of the world.
Many American collectors and museums purchase Chinese art and antiques in Europe. Tariffs of 25% would put them off purchasing as they cannot compete with collectors outside of the USA who do not have to pay these tariffs.
Antique trade bodies in the UK and US protested about the tariffs. At a hearing by the US Trade Department in Washington DC in August, lawyer Peter Tompa argued the tariffs would damage US and European art collectors and businesses more than the Chinese.
The USA trade department responded by deciding to drop plans to charge tariffs on Chinses art and antiques. Peter Tompa, reacting to this reversal said:
“We are grateful that USTR and the administration recognised that tariffs on Chinese art would only hurt American small business and cultural exchange with our allies in the UK, Europe and Asia, especially Japan.”
This ruling means that UK antique dealers can easily export Chinese antiques to customers in America. Visiting Americans can freely buy Chinese-made items such as ceramics, antique chests and antique cabinets in Lancashire antique shops and take them back to the USA without paying extra fees.
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