As an update to an earlier blog post the Trump administration is using Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose additional tariffs, up to $50 billion per year, on certain products manufactured in China and imported into the U.S. and has announced that the proposed list of affected products will be issued by the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) within fifteen days. We have heard that the list could be published as early as March 27th. Original reports included apparel, footwear, electronics, and home goods. According to today’s statements by USTR Robert Lighthizer, the sectors will include aerospace, information and communication technology, and machinery.
The proposed tariffs will be an across the board 25 percent ad valorem duty on covered products. Following the release of the proposed list, the public will have thirty days to comment. Importing and exporting companies should file comments to ensure that certain products either remain on or are removed from the proposed list. Unlike the steel and aluminum tariffs recently imposed under Section 232, there is not a process, other than the filing of comments, to get specific products excluded. The notice will also announce the date for a public hearing. USTR, with the assistance of the interagency Section 301 Committee, will review all comments and then publish the final determination in the Federal Register and implement the new tariffs.