The Wall Street Journal: U.S. suspends tariffs for some imports affected by pandemic — but not goods from China

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The Trump administration said it would allow some companies to delay payment of import tariffs due to economic hardship triggered by the new coronavirus, but the relief was much more limited than many officials and business leaders had signaled.

The Treasury Department on Sunday announced a rule in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow companies to delay for 90 days the payment of tariffs on certain goods coming into the U.S. in March and April.

U.S. importers seeking a tariff-payment delay must “demonstrate a significant financial hardship” and must have operations that are “fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings.”

The measure fell short of the across-the-board tariff deferral or even elimination sought by big business groups and retailers. President Donald Trump’s special tariffs on Chinese goods and steel and aluminum imports weren’t included in the tariff-deferral offering, and other punitive tariffs on dumped and subsidized products also can’t be delayed, according to the temporary rule.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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