The latest on Russia sanctions from the International Trade and Supply Chain Team
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As previewed over the course of the last month, the Biden Administration has announced that intends to increase Section 301 tariff rates for a host of products, including critical minerals used in battery production, and solar cells and modules. Today’s announcement comes in the context of the U.S. Trade Representative completing its four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs imposed during the Trump Administration on a broad range of imports from China. USTR’s report is available here. At this point, USTR has not provided further detail on the proposed increases beyond listing the following categories of goods to be affected:

Battery parts (non-lithium-ion batteries)        Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Electric vehicles        Increase rate to 100% in 2024
Facemasks      Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion electrical vehicle batteries         Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion non-electrical vehicle batteriesIncrease rate to 25% in 2026
Medical gloves           Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Natural graphiteIncrease rate to 25% in 2026
Other critical mineralsIncrease rate to 25% in 2024
Permanent magnetsIncrease rate to 25% in 2026
Semiconductors         Increase rate to 50% in 2025
Ship to shore cranes   Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Solar cells (whether or not assembled into modules)Increase rate to 50% in 2024
Steel and aluminum productsIncrease rate to 25% in 2024
Syringes and needles             Increase rate to 50% in 2024

The proposed modifications to the Section 301 measures also include recommendations for an exclusions process targeting machinery used in domestic manufacturing and a list of temporary exclusions to be granted. USTR also recommends further resources for increased Section 301 enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The report notes that existing Section 301 exclusions are set to expire on May 31, 2024 but does not express any intention to renew these exclusions.

USTR intends to publish a Federal Register notice next week outlining further details of the proposed increased and the comment process in advance of the proposed modifications to the Section 301 measures.

The Husch Blackwell trade team is following this closely and will follow up with further information as we get it.