Articles Tagged with Intellectual Property

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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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Further to our prior blog post, on May 13, 2019, at the direction of President Trump, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a proposed tariff list covering approximately $300 billion worth of Chinese imports to be subject to higher duties pursuant to the determinations previously made under Section 301. USTR explained that the United States and China have been engaged in negotiations on a range of issues, including, among others, forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. According to USTR, shortly in advance of the last scheduled round of negotiations, , China “retreated from specific commitments made in previous rounds”, prompting the United States to propose a fourth list of products subject to additional duties (see here and here for a discussion regarding Lists 1, 2, and 3).

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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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Following President Trump’s direction in connection with the Section 301 investigation into China’s acts, policies and practices related to intellectual property (discussed here), on June 15, 2018, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a 25% tariff increase on Chinese products valued at approximately $34 billion in 2018 trade values, with more tariff increases to come. Below, we describe USTR’s action and China’s response.

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