In a welcome development, it has been reported by the Art Newspaper earlier this week that Chinese art and antiques will no longer be subject to the increased tariffs we had discussed here in the ongoing trade war between the US and China. This is the result – at least in part – of the massive mobilisation by US art trade and heritage bodies, which has thankfully led to the Office of the United States Trade Representative releasing a revised list of the goods affected, now excluding the cultural objects made in China.
Aside from the obvious reservations that can be made about this trade war, not only is the exemption most welcome from the standpoint of the values of cultural exchange, it also seems to make practical sense since the trade in these objects has little to no bearing on the current Chinese economy, as they are largely owned by non-Chinese individuals and companies who are based all over the world. Nonetheless, as some of the tariffs proposed by President Trump will start to be enforced this coming Monday, September 24th, we will need to wait and see the outcome of this trade war. At least the battle for art is won… for now.