U.S. Trade Representative Announces Increased Chinese Tariffs, Promises to Provide Exclusion Process

On Wednesday, May 8th, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced plans to increase tariffs to 25 percent on approximately $200 billion worth of goods imported from China. These goods are already subject to an additional 10 percent tariff pursuant to USTR’s September 2018 actions. USTR is applying these tariffs pursuant to a Section 301 investigation into China’s trade practices regarding technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. These additional tariffs will take effect on May 10, 2019.

Beginning last December, the U.S. and China have engaged in virtually non-stop negotiations on the numerous trade issues raised in the Section 301 investigation. Early optimistic reports of progress were dashed last week-end when President Trump, USTR, and Trump’s other trade advisors reacted to what they saw as backsliding on the part of China, leading to this announced tariff increase and the threat of additional tariff measures. In response, China’s Ministry of Commerce has said they are prepared to take “necessary countermeasures” against the U.S.

One important aspect of USTR’s announcement that has been overlooked by the mainstream press is that there will be a process in which interested parties may request that particular products be excluded from the additional tariffs. We will update you with information regarding the procedure to seek an exclusion when it is announced.

If you need assistance in preparing an application for an exclusion once the process is established, OFW Law would be pleased to help.

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