The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Aug. 13 a finalized fourth list of products from China that will be subject to additional 10 percent tariffs under Section 301. In contrast to prior Section 301 lists, the USTR will impose these tariffs in two phases.
The first phase, referred to as “List 4A” tariffs, will go into effect Sept. 1, 2019 and will increase tariffs on several thousand tariff codes covering a wide range of imported goods from China, such as certain dairy products, clothing, televisions, motorcycles, and sporting equipment, among others. The second phase, referred to as “List 4B,” will go into effect on Dec. 15, 2019. List 4B covers hundreds of tariff codes on a multitude of imported goods from China, such as certain footwear, toys, cell phones, laptop computers, computer monitors, and video game consoles, among others. In terms of import value from China, tariffs on List 4B items will actually have a larger impact than tariffs on List 4A. According to the White House, tariffs on List 4B items were delayed until mid-December to prevent price increases on popular holiday purchases.
These Section 301 duties cover almost $300 billion in imported Chinese products. The proposed list of items released in May for List 4 effectively covered the remaining categories of imports from China that had not yet been subject to three prior lists of Section 301 tariffs: List 1, List 2 and List 3. In response to public comments, the USTR removed a small group of products from the proposed List 4 based on health, safety, national security and other factors.
Similar to the three prior Section 301 tariff lists, the USTR has announced that it will conduct a product exclusion process for products subject to these additional tariffs; we should learn of the timing, process, and scope of this product exclusion process shortly via an announcement from the USTR.