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The fomenting trade war being fought between the United States and China could disrupt global supply chains if tariffs on resins, processing machinery, tooling and plastic products come into effect. This could happen as early as the beginning of June.

The United States has listed injection molding machinery, extrusion machinery, blowmolding machinery, thermoforming and tooling as imports that could be hit with tariffs of 25%. In a tit-for-tat riposte, China listed low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyolefin elastomers and plastomers (POEs, POPs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, polyamide (PA) 66 resin, aromatic and semi-aromatic PAs and their copolymers, and epoxy resin among plastic-related products that would be taxed upon import. PET sheet and film, acrylic resin and polycarbonate resin also made it to the list.

“China is one of the U.S. chemical industry’s most important trading partners, importing 11 percent, or $3.2 billion, of all U.S. plastic resins in 2017. We are particularly concerned that 40 percent of the products to which China has assigned new tariffs are chemicals, including polyethylene, PVC, polycarbonates, acrylates, and others.

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