The preparations are being made following news that Chinese art and antiques have again appeared on a list of Chinese goods facing a 10% US import tax from September 1.
Up until this point in President Trump’s ongoing trade war with China, imports of Chinese art and antiques have been spared the tax.
ATG spoke to a prominent London dealer in Chinese art due to exhibit at New York’s The Winter Show in January 2020, who is considering moving stock to the US early.
BADA secretary general Mark Dodgson said: “The 10% duty on art and antiques will damage British dealers and American dealers, collectors and art fairs.
“British dealers in Chinese works showing at US art fairs will be stung with 10% duty on all their imported stock, regardless of whether it actually sells. American dealers repatriating stock unsold at European fairs will also pay the duty… There is a well-developed trade between the US and UK in antique Chinese objects. It is this trade between the two countries that will be damaged, not China’s trade.”
The inclusion of art on the latest tariff list, published on August 13, rolls back the successful defence mounted by the art market and cultural bodies in the past year.
Back in August 2018, a lawyer representing collectors and museums successfully argued in front of US trade officials in Washington, DC, that Chinese art imports should not be subject to an import tax.
The conclusions put forward by lawyer Peter Tompa at that time was that taxing Chinese art entering the US risked damaging local dealers, collectors and museums while benefiting those in China, because of China’s own prohibition on art exports.
Back on the list
US Trade Representative (USTR) officials appeared to heed this argument. However, when last week the USTR publ i shed a li st of $300bn-worth of items to be subject to a 10% tariff from September 1 it again included art and antiques.
The tariffs will apply to Chinese-made artefacts arriving in the US from any hub, including London and Hong Kong.