Jewelry Caught in Trade Conflict

On Sept. 1, the Trump administration slapped a 15% tariff on Chinese jewelry exports into the United States, part of its ongoing trade war with China. Included on the list: diamonds; cultured and natural pearls; precious stones, including rubies, emeralds, and sapphires; synthetic precious stones, including diamonds; silver jewelry; gold necklaces and neck chains; religious jewelry; and more. Some jewelry items had already been tariffed prior to Sept. 1, including certain gift boxes, jeweler’s balances, beads, and scrap. China is a substantial manufacturer of jewelry sold in the United States, where imports totaled $2.09 billion in 2018—around 15% of total jewelry imports, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That same year, the country also shipped $233 million in gem-quality diamonds and $1.01 billion in gemstones to the United States. It is a growing producer of lab-grown diamo

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