On April 8, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it is initiating an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to enforce the rights of the United States in the World Trade Organization dispute involving subsidies provided to the large civil aircraft industry by the European Union. The investigation may result in tariffs of up to 100% on certain imports from the 28 EU member States as soon as June 1, 2019.
The USTR’s preliminary product list is based on the 8-digit HTSUS subheading for imports from the EU. The list is presented two sections: “Section 1” contains a number of products in the civil aviation sector, including aircrafts, helicopters, and parts and applies only to products imported from four EU member States: France, Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom. “Section 2” contains 318 tariff lines and is applicable to all 28 member States of the EU.
Section 2 contains, amongst other things, animal and vegetable products, prepared food, beverages (including wine), and textile products. The full product lists are provided in Annex 1.
Due to the significant potential impact these additional tariffs may have on a wide-range of products from the EU, importers should consider filing written comments and appearing at the public hearing if they are importing any of the listed products in Annex 1.
Schedule for Notice and Comment Process
May 6, 2019: Interested persons must file requests to appear at the hearing and a summary of expected testimony to be presented. Testimony is limited to 5 minutes for each presenter.
May 15, 2019: USTR’s “Section 301 Committee” will hold a public hearing on the proposed tariffs at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
May 28, 2019: Interested persons must file written comments on the proposed tariffs, including any rebuttal comments to testimony presented at the hearing.