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  April 4th, 2018 | Written by

BREAKING NEWS: USTR Releases Proposed Tariff List on Chinese Products

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  • Trump announced in March that the US will impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports.
  • US intends to take action in response to China’s policies to coerce technology transfers.
  • Proposed list of Chinese products subject to new tariffs targets products that benefit from China’s industrial plans.

The Office of the US Trade Representative has published a proposed list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional tariffs.

Following USTR’s Section 301 investigation, President Trump announced in March that the United States will impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring technology and intellectual property to Chinese enterprises.

The proposed list of products is based on interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans. The products to be subject to the tariffs would minimize the impact on the US economy, according to a statement released by the USTR.  Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.

Machinery and appliances of many kinds are present on the last. Absent, to the relief of importers and retailers, are footwear and apparel. However, to the extent US producers but Chinese machinery, the tariffs could result in higher prices to US consumers.

The proposed list covers around 1,300 separate tariff lines and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing.  After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products subject to the additional duties. The hearing is currently scheduled for May 15, 2018, and post-hearing filings are due a week later, meaning that it will take months for the USTR to finalize the products subject to the new tariffs.

The total value of imports subject to the tariff increase, according to the USTR, is commensurate with an economic analysis of the harm caused by China’s unreasonable technology transfer policies to the US economy, as covered by USTR’s Section 301 investigation.

The announcement came just days after the USTR filed a request for consultations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements.  Those consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process, and could lead to litigation before a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter if negotiations do not reach a solution.