China’s finance ministry announced on Tuesday that it will impose retaliatory tariffs next week on nearly $60 billion worth of U.S. imports in reaction to the Trump administration’s plans to place 10-percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods. Starting Sept. 24, the Chinese will target U.S. lactose, infant formulas, ice cream, chocolate milk and whey proteins and isolates. The move means that nearly all U.S. dairy products exported to the country will face additional import taxes.

“This action will have a significant impact on IDFA members who export their products to our third largest export market,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA senior director of international affairs. “IDFA will continue to communicate members’ concerns to top officials within the administration and promote equitable trade as one of our top priorities.”

Proposed Retaliatory Tariffs on US Dairy Exports to China

Product Category Current Tariff Retaliatory Tariff Effective Tariff
(Current+ Retaliatory)
Amount Exported from
US to China in 2017
Lactose 10% 5% 15% $42,439,763
Lactose Syrup 10% 5% 15% $19,500,538
Powdered Infant Formula 5% 10% 15% $32,570,253
Other Infant Foods 2% 10% 12%
Foods Made from Malt Extract 5% 10% 15% $8,253,605
Ice Cream 12% 10% 22% $2,141,446
Chocolate Milk 5% 10% 15% $740,514
Casein 10% 10% 20% $810,242
Caseinates and Other 10% 10% 20% $5,036,892
Milk Albumin 10% 5% 15% $58,563,378
Other Albumin 10% 10% 20% $1,776,019


President Trump on Wednesday threatened to retaliate again if China goes through with the additional taxes on agriculture products. In a tweet, he said “There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!”

The administration plans to bump its latest 10-percent tariffs up to 25-percent in January.

IDFA is closely monitoring these actions and will update members on any relevant developments.

Members may contact Hughes at