Articles Posted in Tariff

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On September 1, a new round of Section 301 duties will be imposed on “List 4” products. President Trump previously announced plans for these duties, but had delayed implementation in June citing progress on the negotiations with China leading up to the G20 summit. Reportedly, however, the recently resumed talks have not led to the progress desired by the Administration. In his series of tweets announcing the 10 percent tariff, President Trump stated that China had failed to purchase increased quantities of U.S. agricultural goods and reduce the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

The products included in the original proposed List 4 published in May represent $300 billion in annual imports from China and represent virtually all products not previously made subject to Section 301 tariffs. The list, which can be found here, covers a wide range of industrial and consumer products, including electronics and apparel. List 4 also includes products that were removed from List 3 prior to its implementation last year. However, products that remain on List 3 are eligible for an ongoing exclusion application process that concludes on September 30.

USTR is expected to publish in the near future a finalized version of List 4, which may reflect revisions of the proposed list based on comments submitted and public testimony in connection with the List 4 tariff public comment process, which was completed this summer. On July 31, three Republican senators, Rob Portman (R-OH), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jonny Isakson (R-GA) wrote a letter to USTR Robert Lighthizer requesting him to remove from List 4 product codes that were removed from List 3 but added back to the proposed List 4. This request reflects concerns raised in a number of comments during the List 4 tariff proceeding.

The Trump Administration has previously imposed up to 25 percent tariffs on the products in Lists 1, 2 and 3 as part of its Section 301 investigation of the acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. (See here and here for a discussion regarding Lists 1, 2 and 3.) As noted above, companies affected by List 3 can file exclusion requests until September 30.

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On May 21, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) established a process through which U.S. stakeholders may exclude products included in List 3 from a 25% tariff imposed pursuant to the investigation of China’s intellectual property practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301”) (discussed here). The window to submit exclusion requests will open “on or around” June 30.

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On May 9, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Federal Notice indicating that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports would be increased from 10% to 25%. These products are included in the third set of tariff categories (the first two sets are discussed here) announced by USTR in connection with the investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 into China’s acts, policies, and practices related to intellectual property (discussed here). The increase will go into effect on May 10, 2019 at 12:01 am eastern daylight time. Over the weekend, President Trump also threatened a 25% tariff will “shortly” be imposed on the remaining $325 billion worth of imports not currently subject to tariffs. For the prior three sets of Section 301 duties, there were proposed regulations with opportunity for public comment, and it seems likely that USTR would follow the same approach if there will be a fourth set.

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  • June 15, 2018 – U.S. proposes an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products from China (818 tariff categories) with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion. The $34 billion action became effective on July 6, 2018. (See our previous blog here)
  • June 15, 2018 – U.S. also proposes an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products from China (284 tariff categories) with annual trade value of approximately $16 billion. The $16 billion action is undergoing public comment.
  • June 15, 2018 – China retaliates imposing an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. goods with a value of $50 billion. Part of this action ($34 billion) became effective on July 6, 2018. The additional $16 billion will be effective on a date to be determined.
  • July 11, 2018 – U.S. proposes an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of $200 billion.

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On July 11, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) proposed an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of $200 billion.  President Trump directed this action in connection with the Section 301 investigation into China’s acts, policies and practices related to intellectual property (discussed here and here).

According to USTR, President Trump directed this action in response to China’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods following the initial round of 25% tariff increases on Chinese goods covering $50 billion in trade value, $16 billion of which is currently proposed (discussed here).  According to the USTR, “China has shown that it will not respond to action at a $50 billion level” and “supplemental action at a $200 billion level is in accord with the President’s direction.”

The proposed tariffs cover 6,031 tariff subheadings and a wide variety of products, including food, chemical, mineral, electrical products; fertilizers; photographic goods; plastic, rubber, leather, cork, and wood articles; paper and paperboard; textile articles; headgear; stone, ceramic and glass articles; base metals; various types of machinery and appliances; electrical equipment; vehicles; ships; clocks; and furniture.

USTR will finalize the list following a public notice and comment process, including a hearing.  USTR has requested comments on:

  • Whether tariff subheadings included in the list should be retained or removed, or whether subheadings not currently on the list should be added;
    • In comments advocating for the removal of products from the list, commentators address whether imposing increased duties on a particular product would: 1) be practicable or effective to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices identified by USTR to be in violation of Section 301 (discussed in our blog post here); and 2) cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small- or medium-sized businesses and consumers.
  • The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty;
  • The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties.

The relevant dates for the proceedings are as follows:

  • July 27: Requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony
  • August 17: Written comments
  • August 20-23: Public Hearing
  • August 30: Post-hearing rebuttal comments

 

 

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On April 12, 2018 the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it was self-initiating a review to assess India’s eligibility to continue to be treated as a beneficiary country under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program (GSP).

The GSP is a trade preference program that allows duty free access to about 5,000 tariff categories from a range of developing and least developed countries, which are designated as beneficiary developing countries (BDCs) and least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs). About 3,500 of these categories are available to all GSP countries, while about 1,500 are reserved for LDBDCs.

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