There are a number of important developments in the escalating U.S.-China trade war which warrant attention, specifically China 301 tariff actions taken—or to be taken—by the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”). These events have consequences for U.S. companies and consumers, and merit attention for key dates and setting of priorities. The USTR has organized its China Section 301 site into four separate trade actions, with separate lists for each action: the $34 Billion Tariff Action (List 1); the $16 Billion Tariff Action (List 2); the $200 Billion Tariff Action (List 3); and the $300 Billion Tariff Action (List 4). Information on each of these Tariff Actions can be accessed HERE.
Priority One for companies with imported Chinese products on Lists 1- 3 is to submit comments on the USTR’s proposed tariff increase from an additional 25 percent to 30 percent by September 20, 2019. Assuming that the Administration goes forward with the increase, October 1, 2019 is the anticipated date of implementation.
Priority Two for companies with imported Chinese products on List 3 is to submit product exclusion requests by the September 30, 2019 deadline. Those List 3 requests granted by the Administration will apply retroactively to September 24, 2018, and will extend for one year after the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register. (The opportunity to request product exclusions for Lists 1 and 2 has closed.)
Priority Three for companies with imported products on List 4 is to determine whether their products appear on List 4A or List 4B. If on List 4A, then an additional tariff of 15 percent recently commenced on September 1, 2019, rather than the 10 percent originally announced. If on List 4B, an additional 15 percent tariff (rather than 10 percent) will not commence until December 15, 2019. This bifurcated approach arose from the Administration’s desire not to hurt retailers during their busy holiday season when consumers contemplate purchases of such items as toys, laptops, smart phones, and certain items of footwear and clothing.
The International Trade team at FisherBroyles has extensive experience in representing and advising clients on tariff matters, and we are currently helping clients address issues arising from the Section 301 investigation. We can assist your company by reviewing your line, in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the Section 301 Tariffs. We can prepare comments as to why the tariffs should not be increased from 25 percent to 30 percent with respect to products appearing on Lists 1-3, file exclusion requests with respect to products that are on List 3 and eventually List 4 (once a process for exclusion has been established). If you have any questions regarding the Section 301 tariffs or would like to discuss possible strategies relating to them, please contact any of the following FisherBroyles partners.
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