China slaps ‘trade war’ tariffs on US aircraft

China announced, on 3 April, a 25% tariff on imports of US manufactured aircraft with an empty laden weight of between 15,000 and 45,000kg. This will have a significant impact on commercial aircraft manufactured by Boeing – particularly some members of the 737 family, including the BBJ1. It will also include all current Gulfstream models with the exception of the G280.

The move came as part of a tit-for-tat response to match the Trump administration’s imposition of 25% tariffs on USD150 billion of imported Chinese goods. The trade actions will not be carried out immediately, so there may be room for manoeuvre. Publication of Washington’s list started a period of consultation expected to last around two months. The effective date of China’s moves depends on when the US action takes effect.

Should the tariffs be implemented, however, CorporateJetInvestor has reported that the total duty payable on aircraft import to China will be some 30%. Industry analysts have also predicted that these proposed tariffs will directly benefit other manufacturers including Airbus, Bombardier and Dassault whose products will of course not be subject to the tariffs. It has also been suggested that the specified weight limits have been set to benefit three Chinese airliner marques – the Comac C919 airliner, the Comac ARJ21 regional jet and Avic MA7 turboprop.

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