Final enforcement dates and rates have not been set, but both countries are looking at a tariff of 25%. “While we’re confident in the plastics industry’s ability to handle these changes, these proposed tariffs are already causing global market anxieties and will disrupt the supply chains of companies large and small if they take effect,” Plastics Industry Association CEO William Carteaux said in a statement.
And, while the U.S. government is acknowledging Chinese restrictions as a foreign trade barrier, most signals point to the situation not improving. China continues to seize “smuggled waste” and has recently called U.S. and EU requests to revise or halt implementation of its new standards and bans “illegitimate.” The recent tit-for-tat on trade will almost certainly make any conversations around easing contamination standards less likely to happen. Instead of hoping to repair the damage with China, it may be time for U.S. recyclers to turn inward, focus on quality and find alternative markets.