On May 2, 2022, Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, indicated that Section 301 tariffs on imports from China could be modified as part of an effort to combat rising inflation in the U.S. Results of a pending review could change the Section 301 tariffs.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has issued a federal notice regarding an initiation of a four-year review of Section 301 tariffs for List 1 and 2 goods from China, which are currently scheduled to expire on July 6 and August 23, 2022. Domestic industries currently benefiting from the protection of the current tariffs have been advised that they can submit requests to continue the protective tariffs of domestic industries. Details on the federal register notice can be found here: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2022/may/ustr-issues-notice-regarding-statutory-four-year-review-china-301-tariffs.
Additionally, the USTR indicated it will also consider the tariffs on List 3 and List 4A goods “as applicable” to the List 1 and List 2 sections but has not given further details. Should the USTR receive continuation requests, they will announce the fact and will then undertake a separate review to allow comments from all interested persons/parties on the effectiveness of the tariffs in achieving the objectives of Section 301. This includes other actions that could be taken and the effects of the tariffs on the U.S. economy which may include consumers.
This action is the first step in the four-year review process by notifying representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the trade actions, as modified, of the possible termination of the actions, and the opportunity for these representatives to request continuation of the protective tariff action. Should one or more requests be received from representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the tariff to be received, USTR will proceed with the next phase of the review.
Opportunity to Object
The second phase of the review will be announced in one or more subsequent notices and will then
provide opportunities for public comments from all interested parties.
Recent Comment from Tai
Tai has been resistant to the idea of lowering the China tariffs, which she indicated recently in California, as it gives the U. S. leverage in negotiations on trade irritants with Beijing. She stressed in her recent comments of the need to ensure that, “whatever we do right now, regarding tariffs, does not undermine the medium-term design and strategy that we know we need to pursue with respect to the U.S. – China trade relations.” Industry experts suspect Tai could be softening her position as Biden administration officials have started raising the idea.
Please contact your Western Overseas representative with any questions.