Boeing 737NGs exported to China could be slapped with a 25% tariff, after Beijing proposed a series of retaliatory measures in response to tariffs that the Trump administration is imposing on Chinese goods exported to the USA.
A document from China's commerce ministry detailing its proposed 25% tariffs on over 100 products includes "aircraft with an empty weight exceeding 15,000kg but not exceeding 45,000kg".
It is not clear which specific weight would be used to determine which aircraft would be affected by the tariffs. However the 737-800 and -900ER have operating empty weights of 41t and 42t respectively, potentially putting them in line for the proposed tariff.
The 737 Max series, however, has an OEW of more than 45t, likely exempting the re-engined variants from the planned tariffs.
Helicopters and general aviation aircraft made in the USA could also be affected.
More details on the finalised measures and the timeframe in which they might be levied will be announced at a later time, the ministry adds.
The USA has proposed including aircraft, jet engines and helicopters under a wide range of Chinese products that would be subject to a 25% import tariff as a protest against trade practices the Trump administration considers unfair.
Those tariffs are under a six-week comment period ahead of a US International Trade Commission hearing on 15 May.
It appears that Beijing may wait until a final ruling by the USA is made before it moves to impose its own tariffs.
China is the biggest market for Boeing and Airbus, with the US manufacturer's latest market forecast predicting that carriers there will take delivery of 7,240 aircraft through 2036 – including 5,420 narrowbodies.