When China released its list of 106 product groups that will be subject to tariffs of 25% in retaliation to America's list of tariffed Chinese imports - which includes such items as artificial teeth, flamethrowers, nuclear reactors and air combat flying simulators - the biggest surprises were conveniently put in the top two spots in the list released by the Chinese Commerce Ministry: soya beans, for reasons explained previously.
However, a second look at China's list which includes dozens of additional products from cotton to whiskey, reveals that no less than 27 categories of auto and car-related US exports are being targeted, especially electric vehicles, which we can only assume is Beijing's middle finger to Elon Musk.
And just as notable is what Bernstein analyst Doug Harned spotted at the very bottom of the list, namely category "Aircraft, 15,000 kg <unladen weight≤45,000 kg"- as he puts it, China's restrictions could affect just 24 aircraft in Boeing's backlog. According to Harned, the upgraded 737 Max family weigh in just above the 15,000 kg to 45,000 kg range. (The empty weight of a 737 MAX-8 for example is 45,070), suggesting that Boeing may have just scraped through, perhaps on purpose.
"On the surface, this looks like business as usual,'' Harned wrote in a note to clients, and adds that more critical is what impact a trade war might have on the global economy, and by extension, on airline passenger numbers.
The full list of 106 US exports to China slapped with 25% tariffs is below, with key product categories highlighted...