The dispute concerns certain EU subsidies on large civil aircraft, and the USTR proposes to impose additional duties on products of the EU or certain member states.

On April 12, 2019, the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in the Federal Register (Vol. 84, No. 71, pages 15028-15036) concerning the commencement of a Section 301 investigation to enforce U.S. rights in the World Trade Organization dispute against the European Union and certain EU member states.

The dispute concerns certain EU subsidies on large civil aircraft, and the USTR proposes to impose additional duties on products of the EU or certain member states. The products will be drawn from the preliminary list of products that are published in the Annex to the Federal Register notice.

The timetable announced for public participation is as follows:

  • May 6, 2019. Due date for submission of requests to appear at the public hearing and summary of testimony.
  • May 15, 2019. 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, D.C. 20436.
  • May 28, 2019. Due date for the submission of written comments, including post-hearing rebuttal comments.

The USTR has invited comments on any aspect of the proposed action. However, it has specifically identified the following areas of interest:

  • The specific products to be subject to increased duties, including whether products listed in the Annex should be retained or removed, or whether products not currently on the list should be added.
  • The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty.
  • The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties.
  • Whether increased duties on particular products might have an adverse effect upon U.S. stakeholders, including small business and consumers.

The notice also sets forth in detail the procedures for written submissions.

Of note is the fact that the Annex of proposed targeted products is divided into two sections. Section 1 specifically relates to products of France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, identified within specific 10 digit provisions of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules (HTSUS). These products include certain parts and subassemblies that are specific to aviation. Section 2 is a much broader group of products that are included within specific eight digit HTSUS tariff provisions.

Please refer to the Annex for specific details concerning the HTSUS provisions and product descriptions.