18,927 Ways Chinese Exporters Dodge US Tariffs | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

18,927 Ways Chinese Exporters Dodge US Tariffs

Always an industrious people when it comes to maximizing profit and cash flow, especially if it means breaking the law, it didn't take long for Chinese exporters to find a way to dodge hundreds of billions in US tariffs. Take the case of David Visse, a wood importers from Oregon, who this past June got a call from a supplier asking if he would like to get some Chinese plywood tariff-free. "How would that work", asked importer David Visse. The products carry an identification code that is checked by U.S. Customs agents.

"Don’t worry about it,” the supplier said. The plywood would be stripped of its Chinese markings, and “we’ll ship it under some other code."

That, in a nutshell is the strategy employed by countless Chinese to slip their products across the US border without paying tariffs. As the WSJ reports, every product imported into the U.S. carries a 10-digit designation called an HTS code, of which there are 18,927 in all. And like a taxonomic version of a universal commercial alphabet, the code provides a common language to bridge disparate markets and identify products in all their variety.

More importantly, in a world of escalating trade wars and increasing tariffs, the code has a more important function: evading those tariffs.