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

USTR advances review of Section 301 tariffs to phase two

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) completed phase one of its required four-year review of the section 301 tariffs. In this phase, USTR sought input from stakeholders to gauge interest in continuing the tariffs. To no surprise, the domestic steel and aluminum industry responded positively so phase two begins Nov. 15 when comments may be posted to a public portal. In this phase, USTR seeks input from steel and aluminum users to understand the impact of the tariffs on their businesses. NAFEM will provide comments, as it did during the recent International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings on the impact of the tariffs on domestic manufacturers. In these comments, NAFEM shared information from members on the lack of critical metal inputs, price increased for these inputs, the difficulty with sourcing adjustment, and more appropriate trade remedies. The comment portal closes Jan. 17, 2023.

More products from China’s Xinjiang region held at border

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is reportedly holding up more shipments from China’s Xinjiang region, requiring importers to prove goods were not produced with forced labor. The Dec. 2022 Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act bars imports from the Xinjiang region where China has created detention camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. According to Christine Sohar Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg, “Even if members aren’t directly purchasing from facilities in Xinjiang, it’s important to know the companies in your supply chain to avoid component parts being seized by CBP.”