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US-China Trade War May Hit Jewelry Industry

Rough diamonds and other raw materials appear on list of potential American tariff targets.
Jul 15, 2018 7:09 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The Chinese diamond and jewelry industry is facing high import tariffs to the US as trade tension escalates between Washington and Beijing.

On July 10, the US Trade Representative has announced plans for a proposed 10% hike on products from China that have an annual trade value of $200 billion, with various raw materials and accessories used in the jewelry trade listed in President Donald Trump’s new tax proposal.

Among these items are rough “miners’” diamonds, unworked, sawn, cleaved or bruted; industrial diamonds; diamond dust and powder; wooden jewelry boxes; glass beads, pearls and imitation stones; gold or silver articles, including metal clad with gold or silver; and articles of precious metal, other than gold or silver.

While the tariffs will be reviewed at an August 20 to 23 hearing before being implemented, the proposed levies contradict the earlier sentiment throughout the industry that the trade would not be affected. China exports very few rough stones, while the US imports only a small number. Therefore any diamond trade between the countries primarily involves polished stones, which were not included on the roster.

As yet, the list also does not include hikes on finished-jewelry products, a large category for China, which manufactures many silver, gold and platinum pieces for large US brands.

Image: Juliya_Ka / Shutterstock
Tags: Colin Shah, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Jewelry, Julius Zheng, President Donald Trump, Rapaport News, Shenzhen Rough Diamond Exchange, tariffs, Trade War, US Trade Representative
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