[G]rowing tensions between the United States and Chinese officials have led the US increasing tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The products will initially have an additional 10% tariff added when imported, and that amount will be raised to 25% as of January 1, 2019. However, the 42 million pounds of tea that are imported annually from China was not included among the named goods.
In an interview with World Tea News, Peter Goggi, Tea Association of the USA president, commented: “Tariffs on tea are highly unlikely. The tea growing industry in the US is not yet large enough to warrant tariff protection. While progress has been made and tea is being grown around the US, most of the production sites in the US are small and artisanal in nature and are not in any position to replace the volume of Chinese tea in our markets.”
However, President Trump has expressed interest in adding tariffs on virtually every product imported from China. Uncertainty about the US administration’s next policy decision has some brokers stockpiling product.