Christie’s wants tax exemption from Chinese imports

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A rare Famille-Ros, by Tang Ying. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Christie’s is among the first companies to file for exemption from the US’s recently imposed import tariffs on Chinese art and antiquities. The auction house filed a request on Thursday, October 31, with the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), which will be accepting similar requests until January 31.

Christie’s said the Trump administration’s tariffs would result in “a significant loss” to its U.S. business by making it impossible to import the items. The tariffs took effect September 1 on about $110 billion in Chinese imports, as President Trump seeks to negotiate a trade deal with China, according to Bloomberg.

This is a 5 percentage points increase on the 10% tariff rate announced by the president in in August this year. The company is seeking exclusions from 15% duties on seven types of artworks and antiques, including paintings, drawings, original sculptures, engravings, prints and antique furniture more than 100 years old, according to the filings.

Christie’s considers the tariffs punishing to the US art market, and “flies in the face of an important American value of support for the art world”.

The company also said: “Rather than hurting China, this tariff will help the art market in China and elsewhere by incentivizing collectors to sell their Chinese artworks outside of the U.S.”