LUNATIC RAVINGS

SHOWDOWN AT THE TARIFF CORRAL

This should be set to music, a dirge for all the stuff the modern world was made of, that all went over to the world’s factory in China, and out of view, coming back to our shores in aisle 12 of the superstore, more and more stuff, cheap Chinese stuff we all bought and bought and threw away or crammed into cupboards and never thought about what they were made of or where they came from.

To an old guy who grew up when cities in the Western world still made stuff, this Trump list of Chinese goods to be slapped with punitive tariffs in September 2018 reads like a trip down memory lane, an exhaustive, obsessive and exhausting list of all the things we used to make, all the industrial feedstocks that went in to making them, in factories down the road or across town, where guys worked their whole worklife and then retired. To an elderly word nerd like me, this list is nostalgia, a catalogue of the sinews of modernity.

The careful categories that live on in the classifications of the US Trade Representative (USTR) office rescue the particularities of how stuff is made, a sound poem of loss that warrants being chanted aloud, like Ginsberg’s Howl. Many of these categories end on a downbeat, on the suffix –nesoi. In trade talk that stands for “not elsewhere specified or included” just to make sure there’s no loopholes. In this official list of over 200 pages, nesoi occurs 1651 times, you needed to know that.

China’s response to this numbing list?  “Where do these lunatic ravings in the White House come from?”  白宫这种痴人说梦式的良好感觉从何而来? báigōng zhè zhǒng chīrénshuōmèng shì de liánghǎo gǎnjué cóng hé ér lái?”

The whole point of the assembling and publication of this list is to generate two months of debate, before they are due to be implemented in September 2018. It’s meant to be a killer move, the knockout blow that forces China to submit to America’s greatness. This encyclopaedia of manufactured modernity will, in theory, overwhelm China precisely because there are just so many more Chinese exports to the US than American exports to China, so China will never be able to come up with a list as big, if it decides to retaliate. Classic Trump logic.

Rather than actually assembling a list of what China actually exports to the US, this list of thousands of producer goods (economists’ bland jargon for stuff used by manufacturers rather than consumers) seems to have been put together by simply taking the entire USTR catalogue and subtracting from it whatever might be recognisable on a Walmart shelf. That’s how you get to the magic number of $200 billion.

Of course, China has myriad ways of making life hard for American companies and exporters into the Chinese market, and these tariffs will be resisted by American manufacturers not wanting to have to raise prices, who now have two months to lobby the Trump administration to stop this escalating trade war. So these tariffs may never come to pass, and if they do, they are set at only 10 per cent.

Since Trump has taken care to avoid, as much as possible, slapping tariffs on consumer goods directly, concentrating instead on the raw materials used in making consumer goods, this list is also a list of just about everything made in Tibet, that reaches China’s urban factories, but very seldom crosses the ocean to the US. So this is also a catalogue of everything Tibetan: animal, vegetable and mineral, whether produced traditionally or extracted by China’s industrialisation.

This impossibly long list contrasts with the more seriously targeted, much higher tariffs announced mid-June, aimed at China’s high tech ambitions. Among the hundreds of Chinese products on which the US has slapped punitive tariffs, there are many items of interest, notably the lithium battery buses manufactured by BYD and sold (with Chinese subsidies) to airports around the world.

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2018/june/ustr-issues-tariffs-chinese-products for links to the full list, which is indeed targeted (unlike Trump) at the future, not the past, with specific focus on China’s state-sponsored emergence as a hi-tech competitor with both the US and Europe as producer and exporter of hi-tech.

Because of this forward-looking tariff policy, aimed at the Made in China 2025 list of national champions, we now have at last a real intersection with Tibetan concerns, including not only lithium but also railways and also the soybeans from America that China feeds to its livestock because it never invested in boosting food security in Tibet and is instead removing the nomads from their pastures. Lots of intersections with our various Tibetan stories.

You will come across:  8506.50.00 Lithium primary cells and primary batteries, and  Motor vehicles w/electric motor, to transport 16 or more persons, incl driver 8702.40.61 Motor vehicles w/electric motor, to transport 10 to 15 persons, incl driver. This includes those BYD lithium powered buses that Warren Buffett is invested in ,a company that boasts of its exclusive access to Tibetan lithium-rich lakes in the far west of Tibet. This the bus Xi Jinping boarded in London, to be greeted when stepping off by the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge in 2015 http://rukor.org/tibetan-lithium-in-your-pocket/

 

So here we go:

0501.00.00 Human hair, unworked, whether or not washed and scoured; waste of human hair 0502.10.00 Pigs’, hogs’ or boars’ bristles and hair and waste thereof

0502.90.00 Badger hair and other brushmaking hair, nesoi, and waste thereof

0504.00.00 Guts, bladders and stomachs of animals (other than fish), whole and pieces thereof 0505.10.00 Feathers of a kind used for stuffing, and down

1211.20.10 Ginseng roots, fresh or dried, whether or not cut, crushed or powdered

1211.20.15 Ginseng roots, frozen or chilled

1505.00.10 Wool grease, crude

1505.00.90 Fatty substances derived from wool grease (including lanolin)

2103.10.00 Soy sauce

2203.00.00 Beer made from malt

2204.10.00 Sparkling wine, made from grapes

2204.21.20 Effervescent grape wine, in containers holding 2 liters or less

2206.00.45 Rice wine or sake

2603.00.00 Copper ores and concentrates

2604.00.00 Nickel ores and concentrates

2605.00.00 Cobalt ores and concentrates

2606.00.00  Aluminum ores and concentrates

2607.00.00 Lead ores and concentrates

2608.00.00 Zinc ores and concentrates

2609.00.00 Tin ores and concentrates

2610.00.00 Chromium ores and concentrates

2613.10.00 Molybdenum ores and concentrates, roasted

2613.90.00 Molybdenum ores and concentrates, not roasted

2615.90.30 Synthetic tantalum-niobium concentrates

2615.90.60 Niobium, tantalum or vanadium ores and concentrates, nesoi

2616.10.00 Silver ores and concentrates

2716.00.00 Electrical energy

2801.10.00 Chlorine

2801.20.00 Iodine

2801.30.10 Fluorine

2801.30.20 Bromine

2802.00.00 Sulfur, sublimed or precipitated; colloidal sulfur

2803.00.00 Carbon (carbon blacks and other forms of carbon not elsewhere specified or included) 2804.10.00 Hydrogen

2804.21.00 Argon

2804.29.00 Rare gases, other than argon

2804.30.00 Nitrogen

2804.40.00 Oxygen

2804.50.00 Boron; tellurium

2805.30.00 Rare-earth metals, scandium and yttrium, whether or not intermixed or interalloyed 2805.40.00 Mercury

2819.10.00 Chromium trioxide

2819.90.00 Chromium oxides and hydroxides, other than chromium trioxide

2825.20.00 Lithium oxide and hydroxide

2846.90.20 Mixtures of rare-earth oxides or of rare-earth chlorides

2846.90.40 Yttrium materials and compounds containing by wt. >19% But < 85% yttrium oxide equivalent

2846.90.80 Compounds, inorganic or organic, of rare-earth metals, of yttrium or of scandium, or of mixtures of these metals, nesoi

3102.10.00 Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution

3102.21.00 Ammonium sulfate

3102.29.00 Double salts and mixtures of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate

3102.30.00 Ammonium nitrate, whether or not in aqueous solution

3102.40.00 Mixtures of ammonium nitrate with calcium carbonate or other inorganic nonfertilizing substances

3102.50.00 Sodium nitrate

3102.60.00 Double salts and mixtures of calcium nitrate and ammonium nitrate

3102.80.00 Mixtures of urea and ammonium nitrate in aqueous or ammoniacal solution

3102.90.01 Mineral or chemical fertilizers, nitrogenous, nesoi, including mixtures not specified elsewhere in heading

3102 3103.11.00 Superphosphates containing by weight 35% or more of diphosphorous pentaoxide

3103.19.00 Superphosphates nesoi

3103.90.01 Mineral or chemical fertilizers, phosphatic

3104.20.00 Potassium chloride

3104.30.00 Potassium sulfate

3104.90.01 Mineral or chemical fertilizers, potassic, nesoi

3304.10.00 Lip make-up preparations

3304.20.00 Eye make-up preparations

3304.30.00 Manicure or pedicure preparations

3304.91.00 Beauty or make-up powders, whether or not compressed

3305.10.00 Shampoos

3305.20.00 Preparations for permanent waving or straightening the hair

3305.30.00 Hair lacquers

3305.90.00 Preparations for use on the hair, nesoi

3306.90.00 Preparations for oral or dental hygiene, including denture fixative pastes and powders, excluding dentifrices

3307.10.10 Pre-shave, shaving or after-shave preparations, not containing alcohol 3307.10.20 Pre-shave, shaving or after-shave preparations, containing alcohol

3307.20.00 Personal deodorants and antiperspirants

3307.30.10 Bath salts, whether or not perfumed

3307.30.50 Bath preparations, other than bath salts

3402.90.10 Synthetic detergents put up for retail sale

3405.10.00 Polishes, creams and similar preparations for footwear or leather

3405.20.00 Polishes, creams and similar preparations for the maintenance of wooden furniture, floors or other woodwork

3405.30.00 Polishes and similar preparations for coachwork, other than metal polishes

3405.40.00 Scouring pastes and powders and other scouring preparations

3405.90.00 Polishes, creams and similar preparations for glass or metal

3706.10.30 Sound recordings on motion-picture film of a width of 35 mm or more, suitable for use with motion-picture exhibits

3706.10.60 Motion-picture film of a width of 35 mm or more, exposed and developed, whether or not incorporating sound track, nesoi

3706.90.00 Motion-picture film, exposed and developed, less than 35 mm wide

3808.91.25 Insecticides containing any aromatic or modified aromatic insecticide, nesoi

3808.91.30 Insecticides, nesoi, containing an inorganic substance, put up for retail sale

3808.91.50 Insecticides, nesoi, for retail sale or as preparations or articles

3808.94.10 Disinfectants, containing any aromatic or modified aromatic disinfectant

3808.94.50 Disinfectants not subject to subheading note 1 of chapter 38, nesoi

3917.10.10 Artificial guts (sausage casings) of cellulosic plastics materials

3917.10.60 Artificial guts (sausage casings) of collagen

3917.10.90 Artificial guts (sausage casings) of hardened protein, nesoi

3922.90.00 Bidets, lavatory pans, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware nesoi, of plastics

3926.20.10 Gloves, seamless, of plastics

3926.20.20 Baseball and softball gloves and mitts, of plastics

3926.20.30 Gloves specially designed for use in sports, nesoi, of plastics

3926.20.40 Gloves, nesoi, of plastics

3926.20.60 Plastic rainwear, incl jackets, coats, ponchos, parkas & slickers, w/ outer shell PVC and w/wo attached hoods, val not over $10 per unit

3926.20.90 Articles of apparel & clothing accessories, of plastic, nesoi

3926.90.30 Parts for yachts or pleasure boats of heading 8903 and watercraft not used with motors or sails, of plastics

4011.10.10 New pneumatic radial tires, of rubber, of a kind used on motor cars (including station wagons and racing cars)

4011.10.50 New pneumatic tires excluding radials, of rubber, of a kind used on motor cars (including station wagons and racing cars)

4011.20.10 New pneumatic radial tires, of rubber, of a kind used on buses or trucks

4015.19.05 Medical gloves of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber

4015.19.10 Seamless gloves of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, other than surgical or medical gloves

4104.11.10 Tanned whole bovine skin and hide upper/lining leather, w/o hair on, unit surface area n/o 2.6 sq m, in the wet state

4104.11.20 Tanned whole bovine skin and hide leather (not upper/lining), w/o hair on, unit surface area n/o 2.6 sq m, in the wet state

4104.11.30 Full grain unsplit or grain split buffalo hide or skin, w/o hair on, tanned but not further prepared, surface ov 2.6 m2, in the wet state

4104.11.40 Full grain unsplit/grain split bovine nesoi and equine upper & sole hides/skins, w/o hair, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state

4104.11.50 Full grain unsplit/grain split bovine (except buffalo) nesoi and equine hides/skins, w/o hair, tanned not further prepared, in the wet state

4104.19.10 Whole bovine skin upper or lining leather, w/o hair on, unit surface n/o 2.6 sq m, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state

4104.19.20 Whole bovine skin leather (not upper or lining), w/o hair on, surface n/o 2.6 sq m, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state

4105.10.10 Sheep or lamb skins, without wool on, tanned but not further prepared, wet blue 4105.10.90 Sheep or lamb skins, without wool on, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state other than wet blue

4105.30.00 Sheep or lamb skins, without wool on, tanned but not further prepared, in the dry state (crust)

4106.21.10 Hides and skins of goats or kids, without hair on, tanned but not further prepared, wet blue

4106.21.90 Hides and skins of goats or kids, without hair on, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state other than wet blue

4106.22.00 Hides and skins of goats or kids, without hair on, tanned but not further prepared, in the dry state (crust)

4106.31.10 Hides and skins of swine, without hair on, tanned but not further prepared, wet blue 4106.31.90 Hides and skins of swine, without hair on, tanned but not further prepared, in the wet state other than wet blue

4113.10.30 Goat or kidskin leather, without hair on, not fancy, further prepared after tanning or crusting, other than of heading 4114

4113.10.60 Goat or kidskin leather, without hair on, fancy, further prepared after tanning or crusting, other than of heading 4114

4113.20.00 Leather of swine, without hair on, further prepared after tanning or crusting, other than leather of heading 4114

4113.30.30 Reptile leather, not fancy, further prepared after tanning or crusting, other than leather of heading 4114

4113.30.60 Reptile leather, fancy, further prepared after tanning or crusting, other than leather of heading 4114

4201.00.30 Dog leashes, collars, muzzles, harnesses and similar dog equipment, of any material 4201.00.60 Saddlery and harnesses for animals nesoi, (incl. traces, leads, knee pads, muzzles, saddle cloths and bags and the like), of any material

4202.11.00 Trunks, suitcases, vanity & all other cases, occupational luggage & like containers, surface of leather, composition or patent leather

4202.21.30 Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of reptile leather

4202.21.60 Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of leather, composition or patent leather, nesoi, n/o $20 ea.

4202.21.90 Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of leather, composition or patent leather, nesoi, over $20 ea.

4202.22.15 Handbags, with or without shoulder straps or without handle, with outer surface of sheeting of plastics

4202.22.35 Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of textile materials, wholly or in part of braid, of abaca

4202.22.40 Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of textile materials, wholly or in part of braid, nesoi

4202.22.45 Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of cotton, not of pile or tufted construction or braid

4202.22.60 Handbags with or w/o shoulder strap or w/o handle, outer surface of veg. fibers, exc. cotton, not of pile or tufted construction or braid

4202.22.70 Handbags with or w/o shoulder strap or w/o handle, with outer surface containing 85% or more of silk, not braided

4202.22.81 Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of MMF materials

4202.22.89 Handbags with or without shoulder strap or without handle, with outer surface of textile materials nesoi

4202.29.10 Handbags w. or w/o shld. strap or w/o handle of mat. (o/t leather, shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), paper cov., of plas.

4202.29.20 Handbags w. or w/o shld. strap or w/o handle of mat. (o/t leather, shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), paper cov., of wood 98 HTSUS Subheading Product Description 4202.29.50 Handbags w. or w/o shld. strap or w/o handle of mat. (o/t leather, shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), pap.cov.,of mat. nesoi

4202.29.90 Handbags with or without shoulder straps or without handle, with outer surface of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, not covered with paper

4202.31.30 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of reptile leather

4202.31.60 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of leather, composition or patent leather, nesoi

4202.32.10 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of reinforced or laminated plastics

4202.32.20 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, nesoi

4202.32.40 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of cotton, not of pile or tufted construction

4202.32.80 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag,with outer surface of vegetable fibers,not of pile or tufted construction, nesoi

4202.32.85 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface 85% or more silk or silk waste

4202.32.91 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of cotton 4202.32.93 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of MMF 4202.32.99 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of other textile materials 4202.39.10 Articles of kind usually carried in pocket or handbag (o/t leather, shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), pap. cov., of plas. 4202.39.20 Articles of kind usually carried in pocket or handbag (o/t leather, shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), pap. cov., of wood 4202.39.50 Articles of kind usu. carried in pocket or handbag (o/t lea., shtng. of plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.), pap. cov., of mat. nesoi

4202.39.90 Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with outer surface of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard

4202.91.10 Golf bags, with outer surface of leather or composition leather

4203.10.20 Articles of apparel, of reptile leather

4203.10.40 Articles of apparel, of leather or of composition leather, nesoi

4203.21.20 Batting gloves, of leather or of composition leather

4203.21.40 Baseball and softball gloves and mitts, excluding batting gloves, of leather or of composition leather

4203.21.55 Cross-country ski gloves, mittens and mitts, of leather or of composition leather 4203.21.60 Ski or snowmobile gloves, mittens and mitts, nesoi, of leather or of composition leather 4203.21.70 Ice hockey gloves, of leather or of composition leather

4302.19.13 Tanned/dressed whole skins of Astrakhan, Broadtail, Caracul, Persian, Indian, Mongolian, Chinese & Tibetan lamb, not assembled

4302.19.15 Tanned or dressed whole furskins of silver, black or platinum fox (including mutations), with or without head, tail or paws, not assembled

4302.19.30 Tanned or dressed whole furskins of beaver, chinchilla, ermine, lynx, raccoon, sable, other specified animals, not dyed, not assembled

4302.19.45 Tanned or dressed whole furskins of beaver, chinchilla, ermine, lynx, raccoon, sable, wolf, other specified animals, dyed, not assembled

4302.19.55 Tanned or dressed whole furskins of rabbit or hare, with or without head, tail or paws, not assembled

 

And that’s only halfway through this compulsive list of the stuff the made world is made of.

 

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