Monday, September 5, 2022

China Tariffs Here to Stay, at least for Now

Mid-afternoon Friday, September 2, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative confirmed that representatives of domestic industries benefiting from the tariff actions in the Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation have requested continuation of the tariffs. Accordingly, as required by statute, the tariffs did not expire on their four-year anniversary dates and USTR will proceed with the next steps as provided in the statute.

USTR’s formal notice of the continuation may be seen HERE. Details on the next steps in the four-year review process will be set out in subsequent notices.

In May 2022, USTR commenced the statutory four-year process by notifying representatives of domestic industries that benefit from the tariff actions of the possible termination of those actions and of the opportunity for the representatives to request continuation. Because requests for continuation were received, the tariff actions have not terminated and USTR will conduct a review of the tariff actions.

It appears that ALL articles subject to the tariff will continue to be covered by the action. In other words USTR is taking a broad view that requests to extend SOME things on a list triggered extending ALL articles on that list.

There will be a second phase in this action which will permit interested parties to comment pro or con on specific articles on the lists. We do not know when that process will be announced or what form it will take.

USTR has also indicated that for articles that stay on the list after that comment period there will be an opportunity to apply for exclusions. We do not know when that will happen. Also, everyone agrees that the former exclustion process was flawed, but we don't know how this new one will differ.

Finally, in the case of the articles currently excluded through the end of this year, it appears that those exclusions will stay in place through December 31, 2022.

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