It is seen that the U.S. lawmakers have a lot to do when it comes to doing business with China and while they don’t want to stop doing the same, they definitely want China and its companies to pay more to the US and this is what is happening now as well. According to a new report, there are some U.S. lawmakers from the bipartisan group that have proposed a new bill in the U.S. which will exclude Chinese e-commerce shipments coming to the US to be exempt from a tariff exemption. According to this tariff exemption, shipments coming to the US from China are excluded from tariffs if they are valued under $800 and are shipped to an individual rather than a company. This exemption is known as the de minimis rule and currently applies to all e-commerce shipments including those from China.
Upon enactment, this bill would ban tariff exemptions from Chinese e-commerce shipments as these lawmakers say that Chinese e-commerce firms such as Temu and Shein have exploited this rule to avoid paying tariffs. Also, the lawmakers have said that this rule is also exploited to import illegal items such as those from “China’s Xinjiang region with forced Uyghur labor”. Under the proposed new law, “countries other than China and Russia could keep the exemption by adopting the $800 threshold for their own tariff-free imports”. It is also worth noting that this “bill would only allow private shippers like FedEx, UPS and DHL to transport de minimis packages and exclude postal services.
Now, it is also worth noting that there is definitely an influence of politics in this proposed new bill as the situation between US and China as well as Russia is tense right now. However, we have seen that countries such as Brazil have also said that Chinese e-commerce firms are exploiting rules to import products in their country and avoiding taxes by shipping products to an individual rather than a firm. This is definitely a concern and if we look at it aside from a political angle, it does make sense to curb such activities if they are happening.