January at-a-glance…taxes, tariffs & trade

Members have until Feb. 14 to join lawsuit, potentially recover Section 301 tariffs

NAFEM members impacted by list 4A of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports that are subject to a 7.5 percent tariff have until Feb. 14 to join the lawsuit filed by HMTX Industries, an importer of vinyl floor tiles, with the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT). The lawsuit claims tariffs on goods imported from China were “prosecuted in an untimely fashion and without statutory authorization.” The plaintiffs ask that tariffs be declared unlawful, that duties be refunded, and that the U.S. not impose tariffs in the future.

To join the case, companies must concurrently file a summons and complaint with the CIT and complete a few additional forms. Companies filing their own case should be prepared to disclose their publicly owned companies and affiliates, as well as publicly owned shareowners with a greater than 10 percent interest. Companies also may intervene in the case filed by HMTX Industries as the appeal proceeds, rather than filing their own case, although intervention is subject to the Court’s discretion and may be denied. Further details of the appeal are available via a Fact Sheet  and by reviewing the HMTX’s original complaint.

New tariffs imposed on French/German imports; other pending French tariffs suspended

In response to a 2004 dispute over government subsidies to Boeing and Airbus, the U.S. introduced new import tariffs on certain French and German products — including aircraft manufacturing parts (15 percent) and non-sparkling wines, cognac and other grape brandies (25 percent) effective Jan. 12. At the same time, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has suspended indefinitely retaliatory tariffs on additional French imports in response to the country’s Digital Services Tax.