The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) delivered a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai this month requesting the removal of punitive tariffs from a range of products relevant to the herbal products industry. These tariffs, part of a series of trade actions implemented during the previous administration, have had significant impacts on the supply chains for herbal ingredients and product packaging. While the “Phase One” trade agreement between China and the U.S., signed last year, reduces some tariffs, many commodities used by the herbal products industry are still subject to increased ad valorem tax rates as high as 25%.
The letter notes that many of these ingredients and products are not strategically important or related to the “Made in China 2025” program, two criteria that were the original justification for increased tax rates. At the same time, a number of herbal ingredient commodities currently subject to tariffs are primarily or solely available from China. Tariffs and trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have both exerted significant pressure on the herbal product trade.
AHPA’s letter also cites the organization’s extensive previous comments to the USTR on this matter, which include an accounting of some of the specific commodities subject to the tariff regime. These products include, among many others, various forms of a number of specifically identified spices (e.g., pepper; capsicum; cinnamon; nutmeg; cardamoms; seed of coriander, cumin, anise caraway or fennel; ginger; saffron; turmeric; vanilla beans); fruits (e.g., lemons; limes of the Citrus aurantifolia variety; and other citrus fruits); and other botanicals (e.g., black and green tea; kola nuts; mate; chicory root; ginseng; numerous essential oils.).
Read the full letter here.