On August 24, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. USTR-2017-0016] announcing that on August 18, 2017, USTR formally initiated an investigation pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974 (the Trade Act) to determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are actionable under the Trade Act.

The inter-agency Section 301 Committee is holding a public hearing and seeking comments in connection with this investigation.

The schedule and due dates are as follows: To be assured of consideration, written comments and requests to appear at the hearing must be submitted by Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm. The request to appear must include a summary of testimony. Tuesday, October 10, 2017: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington DC 20436, beginning at 9:30 am. If necessary, the hearing may continue on the next business day. To be assured of consideration, post-hearing rebuttal comments must be submitted by Friday, October 20, 2017 at 11:59 pm.

The initiation follows upon President Trump’s Memorandum of August 14, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 39007) instructing the USTR to consider the possible initiation of an investigation. The President’s Memorandum emphasized that “the United States is a world leader in research-and-development-intensive, high-technology goods,” and that “violations of intellectual property rights and other unfair technology transfers potentially threaten United States firms by undermining their ability to compete fairly in the global market.” The President’s Memorandum further noted that China’s conduct “may inhibit United States exports, deprive United States citizens of fair remuneration for their innovations, divert American jobs to workers in China, contribute to our trade deficit with China, and otherwise undermine American manufacturing, services, and innovation.”