Trump Administration Signs “Phase One” Trade Deal, Cutting Tariffs on Books

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On January 15, as of press time, President Trump has signed a “phase one” trade agreement with China. As part of this initial trade deal, the Trump administration announced in mid-December that it would halt impending tariffs on picture and children’s books that were set to take effect on December 15. In addition, the Trump Administration cut existing tariffs on books in half — from 15 percent to 7.5 percent.

President Trump took to Twitter last month saying, “We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election.”

When news of the initial trade deal was first announced, Maria Pallante, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, told Publishers Weekly, “We applaud the Administration for crafting a trade deal with China, effectively reducing and/or suspending a number of tariffs on American books.”

She continued, “We look forward to the removal of all tariffs on books — returning us to our nation’s longstanding policy of not imposing tariffs on educational, scientific, and cultural materials.”

Look for more details on the agreement in future issues of Bookselling This Week.