USTR Publishes Notice on Increase in Section 301 List 3 Tariff Rate

On May 8, 2019, USTR released its federal register notice on the tariff increase for the third tranche (List 3) Section 301 tariffs on China. The duty rate on the estimated $200 billion worth of Chinese products will increase from 10% to 25% effective 12:01am ET on Friday, May 10, 2019. The notice also announces that an exclusion process will be instituted for these products in a separate notice.

The rate increase to 25% means that entries of goods

  1. entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 10, 2019, and
  2. exported to the United States on or after May 10, 2019 will now be subject to an additional tariff of 25%. Entries must be subject to both qualifiers-meaning that if a shipment has been exported prior to May 10, 2019 it will still be subject to the 10% duty rate.  However, if the shipment is exported after 12:01am ET on May 10 the 25% duty rate will apply. To see our full post, click here.


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In a sudden announcement after 8pm on Friday May 31, 2019, the President made the anticipated decision that India was to be removed from the Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”), effective June 5, 2019.  The statement issued by the White House claims that the President had “determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” The end of GSP eligibility and removal of India’s developing country status comes after holding that status for approximately 30 years and is a deepening indication of the U.S.’s increased protectionist stance in the global trading environment.  Last month the U.S. ended Turkey’s preferential status.
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Key Facts:

  • President Trump is imposing tariffs on all imported goods from Mexico beginning on June 10, 2019
  • The tariff rate will begin at 5% and increase to 10% on July 1, 15% on August 1, 20% on September 1, and 25% on October 1, 2019.
  • The tariffs will remain at 25% until “Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory”

On May 30, 2019, President Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on all imported goods from Mexico beginning on June 10, 2019 at a 5% duty rate and increasing an additional 5% each month for three months.
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On Monday, May 6, 2019, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer piggybacking on the President’s tweet announced that the tariff rate on the third tranche (List 3) of Section 301 tariffs would be increased from 10% to 25% at 12:01am on May 10, 2019. Robert Lighthizer issued a statement that USTR plans to release a draft federal register notice on the tariffs today; however, nothing further has been published or announced in the Federal Register for Tuesday May 7, 2019.
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On Sunday, May 5, 2019, President Trump announced via Twitter that the tariff rate on the third tranche (List 3) of Section 301 tariffs would be increasing from 10% to 25% on Friday, May 10, 2019. According to the tweet, the reason for the increase is that the trade deal negotiations are moving “too slowly” and China’s attempt to “renegotiate.”

In the tweet the President also stated that an additional $325 billion dollars’ worth of goods “will be shortly” taxed at a rate of 25%.
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On April 21, 2019, the White House announced that President Trump has decided not to reissue the Iranian oil sanctions waivers, called “Significant Reduction Exceptions” (SREs) when they expire in early May. The White House statement explained that “[t]his decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.”
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On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would be conducting a Section 232 investigation on imports of titanium sponge. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the investigation will be looking into whether or not the “quantity or circumstances” of the imports are a threat to national security.
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On Sunday, February 17, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce reportedly submitted its report to the President following its investigation into whether imported cars and parts pose a threat to national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This investigation was initiated in May 2018 at President Trump’s request.  The report has not been released to the public yet. The administration is required to release any part of the report that does not contain classified information in the Federal Register.
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