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

USTR advances review of Section 301 tariffs to phase two

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the next step in its statuary four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China. In this phase, USTR is seeking public comments about the effectiveness of the tariffs on the United States economy, including consumers, and other actions that can be taken. Comments are being accepted at through Jan. 17, 2023. The online questionnaire for providing comments includes three sections: economy-level impacts, sector/industry-level impacts and comments on specific tariff headings included in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

NAFEM will continue to participate in this process by submitting independent comments and participating with the Americans for Free Trade (AFT), the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU) and the Tariff Reform Coalition (TRC). This summer, USTR asked for feedback under phase one of the review from domestic stakeholders. Initially those comments were not visible to the public and the AFT – which includes NAFEM – called on USTR to make the comments visible and provide transparency into the review process. The comments were made visible in early October and can be viewed here for List 1 and List 2.

“NAFEM had early success challenging some of the Section 301 tariffs,” said Christine Sohar Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg. “We hope to be persuasive in our comments again this time and need member input to do so.” NAFEM and USTR will treat members’ information confidentially. Information to include in NAFEM’s comments should be  sent directly to Sohar Henter.

Section 301 refund case delayed

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) asked the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) three-judge panel for an extension for its comments that were due Oct. 28. Once these comments are submitted, the plaintiff also will have an opportunity to submit final comments. The case addresses the criteria the USTR used to remove certain products and assign different tariffs rates to items on Lists 3 and 4 of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China.