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

Senator Johnson to advance members’ trade concerns to President Biden

Including input from numerous NAFEM members and other companies about the impacts of tariffs on their businesses, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is working on a letter to President Biden “seeking a de-escalation of the trade war” and urging the administration to “eliminate tariffs and quotas that are harming so many businesses and consumers.” The letter, which he also plans to send to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and Council of Economic Advisors Chair Cecilia Rouse, encourages the administration to immediately stop actions that are damaging American businesses and reduce barriers to trade with our allies.

Justice files motion to dismiss Section 301 lawsuits

On June 1, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to dismiss lawsuits by thousands of importers against the Section 301 tariffs on items from China. DOJ contends the tariffs were lawfully imposed and cannot be subject to judicial review. It said the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) acted at the direction of the president and its actions are appropriate to China’s practices. “The appropriateness of the USTR’s actions appears to be shaping up as the real battleground of the merit of this appeal,” said Christine Sohar Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg. Plaintiffs have until Aug. 2 to respond.

Americans for Free Trade urge administration to lift China tariffs

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee heard from the nearly 170 organization members of Americans for Free Trade (AFT). Members pointed out that, to date, the U.S. has collected over $87 billion in tariffs, only 7.6 percent of which were paid by China. “The tariffs hit American businesses and consumers hardest since the majority of the tab was picked up by Americans.” AFT urged the committees to encourage the administration to immediately reinstate a Section 301 product exclusion process and to reinstate all product exclusions that expired in 2020.