USTR releases list of Chinese products tabbed for tariffs

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Source: American Shipper

 The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) at about 5:00 p.m. Tuesday released a list proposing duties to cover approximately 1,300 tariff lines of Chinese products.
   The agency proposed tariffs pursuant to a USTR-led investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 that allows USTR to impose trade remedies to counter any foreign country’s “unreasonable” acts, policies, and practices found to have denied U.S. companies “fair and equitable” commercial treatment and market access. 
   The review found that China is unfairly forcing U.S.-based investors to transfer technology and intellectual property (IP).
   The proposed 25 percent tariffs cover about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in estimated annual trade value for 2018, according to a formal notice released Tuesday of the proposed trade actions, including affected tariff lines.
   Chinese sectors subject to proposed tariffs include aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery, USTR said in a press release.
   Approaching the finalization of any tariffs, USTR is accepting public written comments on the proposed product list through May 11, and will lead an interagency hearing at 10:00 a.m. May 15 on the matter, according to the formal notice.
   April 23 is the due date for filing requests to appear, as well as summaries of expected testimony at the hearing. May 22 is the due date for post-hearing rebuttal submissions.
   USTR will issue a final determination on products subject to additional duties after completion of the public notice-and-comment process, the press release said.
   USTR “strongly prefers” electronic submissions made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.
   Specific instructions are outlined in the notice.
   The list of proposed tariffs was developed through executive branch trade analysts’ identifications of products that benefit from Chinese industrial policies, and was narrowed through removal of specific products recognized as likely to disrupt the U.S. economy and of “tariff lines that are subject to legal or administrative constraints,” the notice said.
   Agencies ranked remaining products according to likely impacts on U.S. consumers, based on available trade data involving alternative country sources for each product, and the proposed list was finalized by then selecting products from the ranked list with lowest consumer impact.
   In addition to proposing tariffs, USTR on March 23 requested consultations at the World Trade Organization, the first step in the multilateral body’s dispute settlement process, over China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements. 

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