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

Section 301 tariff updates

  • During a roundtable summit at the G-20 meeting in Rome, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged that tariffs “tend to increase domestic prices.” Before considering a reduction of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, Yellen explained that the U.S. is waiting for China to fulfill its February 2020 trade agreement pledge to buy $200 in additional U.S. goods and services.
  • In its October response brief to the September 2020 lawsuit alleging that Lists 3 and 4A of the Section 301 tariffs exceed the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) authority under the Trade Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argues that the tariffs are beyond judicial review because they were created by a presidential act. “This is helpful information to understand the government’s strategy as the three-judge panel prepares for arguments,” said Christine Sohar Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg.

Dec. 1 is deadline for comments to USTR on reinstating Section 301 tariff exclusions

The USTR is considering reinstating exclusions on 549 products covered under the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China that expired Dec. 31, 2020. Reinstated exclusions will be retroactive to Oct. 12 and comments are due Dec. 1. According to USTR, comments should focus on:

  • Whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the U.S. and/or in third countries.
  • Changes in the global supply chain since September 2018 with respect to the particular product or any other relevant industry developments.
  • Efforts the importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since September 2018 to source the product from the U.S. or third countries.
  • Domestic capacity for producing the product in the U.S.
  • The recommended appropriate length for the reinstated exclusions.