Greeting Cards Are Excluded From September 1 US Tariff List For China Imports

Providing a huge sense of relief for card publishers manufacturing in China and exporting into the States as, contrary to fears greeting cards have been excluded from the very long list of products that will be subject to a 10% tariff for goods shipping after September 1.

However, as it stands, greeting cards do appear on the list of products that will be subject to 10% tariffs for all shipments from China into America from December 15 this year.

“I am so pleased that greeting cards are not among the list of products released today by the U.S. Trade Representative for new tariffs beginning on September 1, 2019,” said George White, president of 3D card company Up With Paper on  (13 August) when it was confirmed that greeting cards were not among the $300 billion worth of products, that are caught in the crossfire of Trump’s trade war with China.

Above: Up With Paper president, George White with Sarah Moe Meyers, Hallmark’s federal affairs manager. 
Above: Up With Paper president, George White with Sarah Moe Meyers, Hallmark’s federal affairs manager.

After some tough campaigning and submitting convincing testimonies as to why greeting cards should be excluded from the list of tariffed products, George, a leading light in the US GCA and Hallmark’s federal affairs manager Sarah Moe Meyers were granted the right to a hearing at the US Trade Commission in Washington DC in late June. Their shared mission was not only to protect the American greeting card players who manufacture in China but also those publishers from the UK and elsewhere who manufacture in the Far East and export to the States, as the tariffs are based on country of origin.

Their respective punchy five minute speeches as to the reasons why greeting cards should be excluded from the tariffs certainly appear to have worked some magic.

Prefacing the 122 page document that details all of the multifarious products that will be subject to the 10% levy from the start of next month – that span from live walruses to candles, gingerbread to watches – it is stated that the ‘USTR’s public comment and hearing process’ resulted in certain products being excluded from the September 1 list.

Above: The US Trade Commission in Washington DC where George and Sarah  made their pleas for cards to be excluded from the tariffs.
Above: The US Trade Commission in Washington DC where George and Sarah  made their pleas for cards to be excluded from the tariffs.

Greeting cards are not however completely out of the woods tariff-wise, as they are among the list of products scheduled for a delayed tariff implementation to commence on December 15, 2019.

Under item 4909.00.40 on List 4B is the description: ‘Printed cards (except postcards) bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements, with or without envelopes or trimmings’.

Having received the welcome respite, meaning that no late Christmas shipments will incur extra duties this year, George is optimistic that “there can be a successful resolution of the dispute within the additional time. We are hopeful that the delay to December is the first step to a permanent exclusion/elimination of this issue!” said George.

Top: Despite US President Trump meeting China’s President Xi Jinping, there is still deadlock over the trade war.

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