On August 18, 2017, at the direction of President Trump, the United States Representative (USTR) initiated an investigation under Section 301 into China’s unfair trade practices as it related to intellectual property concerns.

Section 301 provides a statutory means by which the United States imposes trade sanctions on foreign countries that violate U.S. trade agreements or engage in acts that are “unjustifiable” or “unreasonable” and burden U.S. commerce. While the law does not limit the scope of investigations, Section 301 generally focuses on three types of foreign government conduct subject to Section 301 action: (1) a violation that denies U.S. rights under a trade agreement, (2) an “unjustifiable” action that “burdens or restricts” U.S. commerce, and (3) an “unreasonable” or “discriminatory” action that “burdens or restricts” U.S. commerce.

As part of the Section 301 investigation related to China’s intellectual property practices, USTR received approximately 70 comments for consideration. On October 10, 2017, USTR held a public hearing and released its findings on March 18, 2018, concluding that China’s policies interfered and affected intellectual property rights. On April 6, 2018, USTR announced its determination that the Government of China’s practices were harmful to U.S. commerce.

Over the course of several months, USTR issued a series of lists affecting different categories and classes of goods which would be subject to additional tariffs upon importation into the United States. Husch Blackwell has prepared this summary for ease of reference to have the information readily accessible in a consolidated format. For any specific questions or concerns, please contact Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain Group.

List 1 (Instituted on July 6, 2018)

List 2 (Instituted on August 23, 2018)

List 3 (Instituted on September 24, 2018)

List 4A (Instituted on September 1, 2019)

List 4B (Not yet instituted and delayed indefinitely)