China Announces 25 Percent Tariff on Wool and Sheepskins
August 10, 2018

As trade rhetoric has escalated between the United States and China in recent months, the Chinese government announced on Aug. 3 a new series of tariffs on American goods. Wool and sheepskins are among the 2,493 items included in the top tier, which will incur a 25 percent tariff. A schedule for implementation of the tariffs has yet to be announced.

“The wool trade has anticipated that it would make the list of retaliatory tariffs, since previous tariff announcements have centered on American agriculture,” said American Sheep Industry Association President Mike Corn. “We understand the impact such tariffs might have on the industry as China is the major export market for American wool.”

Sheep and wool items included in the top tier of tariffs include:

  • Raw hide and skins of sheep/lambs, with wool on;
  • Sheep/lamb leather, further prepared, no wool, whether or not split;
  • Greasy shorn wool, not carded or combed;
  • Noils of wool, not garneted stock;
  • Yarn of carded wool;
  • Yarn of combed wool;
  • Yarn for retail;
  • Yarn of other fibers mixed with wool;
  • Fresh or chilled unboned meat of sheep.

The list also includes a variety of garments, carpets and other finished products that use American wool, but such products are rarely exported from the United States to China. Sheep meat – which is on the list – isn’t currently exported to the country either.

ASI is investigating the details and the timing of the new tariffs in an effort to assist exporters with sales prior to the tariffs going into effect. The association has been in contact with wool exporters throughout the recent trade discussions between the two countries. China is the largest single export market for American greasy wool and sheepskins.