March ’22 at-a-glance … taxes, tariffs & trade

Review pending of first list of Section 301 tariffs

Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration is expected to soon begin reviewing the first group of Section 301 tariffs on more than $300 billion in Chinese imports. The tariffs were implemented in 2018 and expire July 6. NAFEM will be closely watching this effort and advocating for a process that is fully transparent, involves input of stakeholders who pay the tariffs, and includes a full economic assessment of their impact.

NAFEM/Americans for Free Trade ask elected officials to reinvigorate 301 inclusion process in final U.S. competitive bill

Language requiring the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to reinvigorate the Section 301 exclusion process on imports from China was included in the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, but not in the House’s America COMPETES Act. NAFEM and 179 other members of Americans for Free Trade (AFT) wrote to House and Senate leadership asking them to encourage the conference committee assigned with reconciling the bills for presidential approval to reinstate the requirement. “According to a recent Moody’s Investor Service Report, the tariffs ‘hit American businesses and consumers hardest,’ with China absorbing only 7.6 percent of the tariffs “while the rest of the tab was picked up by Americans,” the letter stated.

NAFEM advocates for greater inclusion in 232 import exclusions

On behalf of its members, NAFEM will submit feedback to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on its request for comments on the Section 232 exclusions process for steel and aluminum imports. “We appreciate the input and specific examples provided by multiple members,” said Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs. “Among other things, we’ll be asking that the exclusion process be opened to those beyond the importers of record.” Comments are due March 28.

USTR outlines 2022 U.S trade priorities

Trade priorities of the Biden administration are detailed in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) newly published 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report. These include:

  • Advancing a worker-centered trade policy.
  • Re-aligning the U.S./China trade relationship.
  • Engaging with key trading partners and multilateral institutions.
  • Trade policy enforcement.
  • Promoting equitable, inclusive and durable trade policy and expanding stakeholder engagement.