According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. companies and individuals will have until May 22nd to voice objections to President Trumps’ proposed 25% tariffs on some 1,300 foreign goods. In general, products subject to this retaliation against China fall within the sectors of aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics and machinery. (Left off the list are retail mainstays such a mobile phones and clothing, items that might provoke a U.S. consumer backlash.)
Important dates are as follows:
- April 23 - due date for filing all requests to appear and to submit a summary of testimony to be presented at the public hearing; it is also the date for filing pre-hearing submissions
- May 11 - due date for submission of written comments
- May 15 - date of the 10 a.m. public hearing to be held at US International Trade Commission, 500 E. Street SW, Washington, D.C., 20436.
- May 22 - due date for rebuttal comments following the May 15 hearing
Note: USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Instructions for submitting comments in sections F and G can be found at this link. The docket number is USTR-2018-0005.
On April 3, 2018, the United States Trade Representative published a proposed tariff retaliation list. This follows just a few weeks after the USTR’s March 22nd release of its Section 301 Report detailing findings regarding Chinese acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, innovation and intellectual property. The 301 Fact Sheet states that “the United States is committed to rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship to achieve more fair and reciprocal trade. After years of U.S.-China dialogues that produced minimal results and commitments that China did not honor, the United States is taking action to confront China over its state-led, market-distorting forced technology transfers, intellectual property practices, and cyber intrusions of U.S. commercial networks.”
The complete list of products that could be subject to a 25% tariff is included in the annex to the 301 Report.
Since the April 3 USTR tariff list was published, China responded by publishing its own list of products it may subject to increased tariffs if President Trump moves forward. These items include agricultural commodities such as soybeans as well as exports such as autos, aircraft, and chemicals. In response, Trump has threatened to slap additional tariffs on more goods, stating that he might consider whether an additional “100 billion in tariffs might be appropriate.”