The Trump Administration is using an infrequently used provision of the trade laws, Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose an additional 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products imported into the U.S. The proposed list covers 1300 tariff lines and includes medicaments, pumps and valves, machinery for the oil and gas, agriculture, food, beverage, and apparel industries, motors, generators, trucks, bulldozers, railway cars, automobiles, helicopters, airplanes, and boats, and consumer products such as dishwashers, microwaves, TV’s, and VCR’s. (see full list here)

The proposed list covers the following sectors (See blog post from March 21):

  • New advanced information technology
  • Automated machine tools and robotics
  • Aerospace and aeronautical equipment
  • Maritime equipment and high tech shipping
  • Modern rail transport equipment
  • New energy vehicles and equipment
  • Power equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • New materials
  • Biopharma and advanced medical products

The U.S. Trade Representative announced that the imposition of these additional tariffs is due to the policies of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation which are “unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.”

The USTR also announced that there will be a public comment period including a hearing after which the USTR will issue a final determination on the merchandise subject to the additional tariffs. The timetable is short and we expect the new tariffs to be in place in June:

  • April 23, 2018 due date for filing requests to appear at the public hearing
  • May 11, 2018 due date for submission of written comments
  • May 15, 2018 public hearing
  • May 22, 2018 due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.

Comments can include whether to retain or remove products from the proposed list, whether products not currently on the list should be added, and the proposed 25% additional duty.