Background

Section 301 tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of imports from China remain in effect following numerous requests by domestic industries benefiting from them, according to a Sept. 2 notice from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. However, despite months of speculation, there is still no word from the White House on whether or when there might be changes to those tariffs.

USTR said it will now conduct a review of the tariffs that will solicit comments from all interested persons on issues such as the effectiveness of the tariffs in achieving the objectives of Section 301, other actions that could be taken, and the effects of the tariffs on the U.S. economy, including consumers. USTR states that details on this process “will be set out in subsequent notices,” and it is not known when that may occur or if there is any specific timeframe associated with it.

The announcement comes as the trade community continues to wait for word from the White House on potential changes to the China tariffs. There has been speculation for months about the nature and timing of such changes, which at one point were thought to possibly include a lowering of tariffs on some consumer items in response to rising domestic inflation. However, observers have opined more recently that increasing tensions in the U.S.-China relationship as well as the rapidly approaching U.S. midterm elections may have put any such changes on hold for the time being.

In the meantime, efforts to ameliorate the impact of the tariffs are continuing.

- ST&R is assembling coalitions on housing affordability, the music industry, and children’s products to address USTR’s review and related issues (for more information, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email or Angela Marshall Hofmann at (202) 730-4957 or via email).

- ST&R is advocating for the renewal of all previously approved exclusions and the creation of a process allowing for new exclusion requests (for more information, please contact strdc@strtrade.com).

- There are a number of proven and legitimate ways to effectively avoid the tariffs or limit their impact (click here for more information).

- Importers of List 3 and 4A goods from China can still preserve their rights to possible refunds of tariffs paid on such goods by joining an ongoing court case (for more information, or assistance filing a claim, please contact us at 301Litigation@strtrade.com).

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