Chinese lead smelters could face collateral damage in China's latest import tariff threat
China’s imposition of a 10% tariff on US lead concentrate imports is likely to pose difficulties for its already beleaguered smelting industry, as well as its intended target, American miners.
On Friday August 3, China released a tariff list designed to retaliate against the United States’ threat to impose a higher 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The list included 5,207 US products worth $60 billion and was the latest salvo in an escalating tit-for-tat trade spat between the world’s two biggest economies.
Among the metals targeted in China’s latest list were lead ore and concentrate products, which will be slapped with a 10% tax should the tariffs come into effect.
“If US proceeds to implement its tariffs, Chinese government will immediately implement the mentioned tariffs,” the Chinese Ministry of Finance said when announcing its proposal.
Half of all US-origin lead concentrate shipments are sent to China, and the proposed tariff will affect North American miners such as Doe Run Co and Teck Resources, both of which ship major volumes to the Chinese markets.