04:21 GMT05 April 2020
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL

    The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) revealed Tuesday that Washington will delay tariffs on some Chinese products, including cell phones, laptops and video games, until December 15, and that other goods, including Bibles, will be exempt from tariffs “based on health, safety, national security and other factors.”

    In May, the USTR released a list of goods imported from China that would be subject to an additional 10% tariff starting in September following US President Donald Trump’s announcement on August 1 that he would be imposing additional tariffs on around $300 billion of Chinese imports. 

    “Bibles and other religious literature are among the items removed from the tariff list and will not face additional tariffs of 10%,” USTR confirmed to Christianity Today this week.

    The news that Bibles would not be subject to Trump’s tariffs was consolation to Christian publishers in the US, who have expressed concern that the tariffs would make Bibles too expensive to manufacture. According to Christianity Today, China is the world's largest Bible publisher, with Chinese Bible printer Amity Press producing around 200 million copies of the religious text since 1988. 

    “For the past several months, there has been great concern among the Christian publishing community that our important work would be threatened by proposed tariff schedules,” Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of publishing company LifeWay Christian Resources, recently told Christianity Today. “Today's announcement by [USTR] has given us hope that the administration has heard our concern.”

    “Nevertheless, I am troubled that the Word of God would ever be taken hostage in an international trade dispute,” he continued. “These past months have strengthened our resolve to get Bibles to the people who need them. Our mandate is built on obedience to Christ, regardless of any policy proposal from Washington DC.”

    The American Bible Society (ABS) also applauded the news that Bibles would be excluded from tariffs.

    “We are overjoyed and relieved to hear that Bibles will not be included in the initial list of items facing potential tariffs,” Roy Peterson, ABS president and CEO, told Christianity Today. “Any hindrance to Bible access as a result of these tariffs could have severely impacted the ability of people worldwide to engage Scripture and exercise their religious freedom.”

    The United States and China have been involved in a trade war since June 2018, when Trump first announced he was imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in a bid to balance the US trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have introduced several rounds of reciprocal tariffs.


    Top Global Exporter Germany Teeters on Brink of Recession Amid Trade Wars, Brexit Slump – Report
    Huawei Mulls Building 'Invincible Iron Army' to Fight US Sanctions Amid Trade War – Reports
    Goldman Sachs Lowers Growth Forecast amid Recession Fears Due to Trade War with China
    US Business Community Urges Trump to Wind Down Trade War With China - Report
    Why Trump's New Green Card Regulation Doesn't Look Like an Overall Cost Saver
    Donald Trump, Bible, tariffs, China
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook