In lieu of returning to the negotiating table, on Tuesday, July 9 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a proposed list of $200 billion in Chinese imports that could receive an additional 10 percent in an escalating tit-for-tat exchange over unfair trade practices and intellectual property rights at the root of Section 301 investigation. The 6,031 tariff lines impact everything from food, fuel, chemicals, machinery parts, apparel, and more.
On July 6, 2018, the United Stated implemented a 25 percent duty on 545 tariff lines worth $34 billion in the first round of Section 301 tariffs, with an additional $16 billion under public review. China’s Ministry of Commerce, while condemning unfair trade accusations, imposed an equivalent retaliatory 25 percent tariff in two parts of equal measure to the United Stated action on the same day.
“In light of China’s response to the $50 billion action announced in the investigation and its refusal to change its acts, policies, and practices, it has become apparent that U.S. action at this level is not sufficient to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation,” stated the USTR notice. “Accordingly, the Trade Representative is proposing to modify the action in this investigation by maintaining the original $34 billion action and the proposed $16 billion action, and by taking a further, supplemental action.”
The Chinese government released a statement condemning U.S. action, “To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures.” China has already begun a dispute with the World Trade Organization (WTO), but the U.S. has blocked several appointments to replace appellate judges, making it unlikely for the dispute system to operate until 2019 at the latest.
PUBLIC COMMENT & REVIEW
July 27, 2018:Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing submissions.
August 17, 2018:Due date for submission of written comments.
August 20-23, 2018:The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing.
August 30, 2018:Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.
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