Hidden away in a piece at Politico is a report of how the Chinese Government is increasing unannounced ‘stop and go’ inspections and hurdles for American companies importing goods to China…
These actions seem to be warning to American companies about how China feels about Trump’s Tariff War….
As President Donald Trump has escalated trade tensions throughout 2018, extra scrutiny and inexplicable shipment rejections have come to symbolize the pitfalls, beyond tariffs, that American firms doing business in China have faced.
Data on such disruptions is hard to come by. But more than one in four businesses that responded to a recent U.S.-China Business Council survey said they have been subject to increased scrutiny from Chinese regulators as a result of the increasing trade tensions.
Those companies also ranked political risk associated with the U.S.-China relationship as their top challenge for the first time since the survey began 10 years ago.
Disparate American goods such as oranges, logs, calf skins and even Lincoln vehicles have encountered heightened customs reviews at Chinese ports this year. Multinational companies already accustomed to the sometimes difficult environment have reported an uptick in the number of hurdles they must jump through in order to do business in the increasingly lucrative market.
The cherry growers group — which represents 2,500 growers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state — relies heavily on getting fresh fruit to consumers in China during the three-month window when nine varieties of cherries are ripe.
The growers ended up rerouting some sea shipments to Hong Kong or Taiwan and away from China, where the country’s large and growing middle class has embraced the fruit in recent years. Air shipments to China, which were normally cleared by customs in half a day, also dried up. The trade group estimated in November that tariffs and other barriers have cost the industry $89 million in lost sales this year.
Chinese officials rarely tie such actions directly to any international tensions, and they often go unnoticed outside the industries that are affected by them, trade experts said. But they are part of a well-worn playbook for the Chinese government, which has used these and other non-tariff barriers for years during political squabbles….