New US tariffs on books imported from China will not include Bibles and other religious titles, while charges on children’s publications will be delayed, it has been announced.
US President Donald Trump is imposing a 10% tariff on almost all goods coming into the US from China in his escalating trade war with Beijing.
A list of products subject to the additional tariffs, which kick in for many products from 1st September, was released yesterday (Tuesday 13th August) by the Office of the US Trade Representative.
Bibles and religious books were not included on the list while a number of other items, including children’s books, will not see the tariff imposed until 15th December. Mr Trump said the delays, which also apply to items including mobile phones and laptops, were implemented to avoid hitting Christmas shoppers.
However, other types of books, such as American fiction and non-fiction, will still be subject to the charge, a decision that was criticised by Association of American Publishers president and c.e.o. Maria Pallante.
She said: “We remain deeply concerned that a wide range of other books remain on the list, including American fiction and non-fiction books; art books; textbooks; dictionaries and encyclopedias; and technical, scientific and professional books.
“A tariff on books is a tax on information, and at odds with longstanding US policy of not imposing tariffs on educational, scientific and cultural materials. Just as importantly these books are part of a vital economic engine that makes significant contributions to the US economy, and supports American publishers, authors, illustrators, editors, and designers, as well as distributors and booksellers.”