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Saturday, December 15, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Badger hair, frog legs among niche products on Trump’s tariff list

Horse hair will receive a 10 percent tax under the most recent import tariffs. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Horse hair will receive a 10 percent tax under the most recent import tariffs. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

U.S. trade officials have invited you to comment on their latest list of proposed import tariffs covering 6,031 categories of items from China. They may get an earful, as the levies cover a motley array of niche products.

Bovine semen is targeted for the 10 percent tax along with dog leashes, bricks, caviar and caviar substitutes, frog legs (fresh, chilled or frozen), vacuum cleaners, more than 40 categories of tobacco products, hair from horses, pigs and humans and something called “vegetable hair.”

Hipsters and anyone else coveting the porous, soft-tipped luxury of badger-hair shaving brushes may be among the commenters, as the bristles also made the list published by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

The items are part of the $200 billion round of import taxes that broadened trade hostilities that began July 6 with a U.S. list targeting $34 billion in trade including flamethrowers, fetal bovine serum and blood.

The list even takes on a key seasoning in Chinese food: monosodium glutamate. But it’s not just about flavoring. The tariffs also target some of the most popular stir-fry ingredients from abalone and sea urchins to garlic, bamboo shoots, dried mushrooms, ginseng and water chestnuts.

The due date for filing requests to appear at a public hearing on the duties proposed in the list published Tuesday is July 27, while written comments will be accepted until Aug. 17.


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