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.