On October 2, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a statement announcing the initiation of new investigations under Section 301 of the Trade Act of
Continue Reading USTR Initiates Section 301 Investigation into Vietnam’s Currency Manipulation and Importation of Illegal Timber

The World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement body ruled that the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on imports from China are inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and recommended that the U.S. “bring its measures into conformity” with its obligations under the GATT.  Beginning in 2018, at the direction of President Trump, the U.S. imposed tariffs on $400 billion worth of imports from China over 4 different lists or tranches.  The U.S. and China negotiated a “phase one” trade deal earlier this year, however, most of the tariffs were still left in place.

The WTO panel concluded that the U.S. failed to demonstrate that the tariff measures are justified under Article XX(a) of the GATT 1994.  As a result, the panel found the U.S. tariff measures to be inconsistent with Articles I:1, II:1(a) and II:1(b) of GATT 1994.  In other words, the WTO found that the U.S. tariffs on China were discriminatory and excessive, and the U.S. failed to present justification for an exemption that could have legally allowed for the tariffs.
Continue Reading WTO Rules that U.S. Section 301 Tariffs on Chinese Imports Violate International Trade Rules

On September 10, 2020, HMTX Industries LLC, along with Halstead New England Corporation, and Metroflor Corporation (importers of vinyl tile) filed a complaint (Ct. No. 20-00177) at the Court of
Continue Reading Court of International Trade Receives its First Complaint Against Section 301 China Tariffs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) is preparing a regulatory change that would eliminate the $800 de minimis exemption for imports subject to Section 301 tariffs, according to a proposed rule submitted by CBP to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) on September 2, 2020.  Reviews of the proposed rule by OMB and an interagency review are the final steps before the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.
Continue Reading CBP Proposes Rule to Eliminate Section 321 Exemption for Imports Subject to Section 301 Tariffs

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) issued extensions for previously granted product exclusions under List 4 of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China.  USTR is extending the duty exemptions for only 87 of the approximately 248 product exclusions published to date under List 4, allowing for more than 150 to expire on September 1, 2020. The products for which exclusions have not been extended will be subject to the 7.5% tariff beginning on September 2, 2020.
Continue Reading USTR Grants Extensions to Some Section 301 List 4 Product Exclusions, Allowing Most to Expire