On May 5, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a Notice requesting comments from domestic industry members benefitting from the Section 301 tariffs as to whether the USTR should continue to impose Section 301 tariffs for lists 1, 2, 3, and 4A. USTR is required to review the necessity of Section 301 actions four years after implementation.
USTR stated in its Notice that it was taking action in two Phases. In Phase One, USTR is requesting only for comments from parties that are benefitting from the Section 301 tariffs. The comments are due and must be filed by 11:59pm on July 5 (List 1) and 11:59pm on August 22 (List 2, 3 and 4A). USTR has indicated it will not make the comments public, but will summarize them when publishing its determination on whether or not to continue the Section 301 tariffs. In Phase Two, the USTR will issue a separate notice and take comments from all interested parties on the effectiveness of the 301 action and the impact of the action on the US economy and consumers.
Based on recent comments from the Biden administration, it is interested in easing Section 301 tariffs on certain products in order to mitigate inflation and align with this administration’s trade objectives. Accordingly, it is likely that Section 301 tariffs may be modified or reduced based on Phase Two comments. Importers should consider filing comments to obtain relief from Section 301 tariffs and protect their appeal rights.