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USTR Releases Preview Of Questionnaire For Four-Year Section 301 Tariff Review – International Trade & Investment



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On Tuesday (Nov. 1, 2022), the Office of the United States Trade
Representative (“USTR”) released a preview of its
questionnaire seeking comments on the effectiveness and impacts of
the additional duties levied on Chinese-origin goods enacted under
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301
tariffs”). The Section 301 tariffs, which commenced in 2018
and have undergone various additions and exclusions in the years
since, were the result of the USTR’s investigation and findings
of unfair and discriminatory trade practices by China. This new
comment period is part of the USTR’s ongoing
statutorily-required four-year review of the Section 301
tariffs.

Importers and other interested parties should treat this new
comment period as a key opportunity to communicate directly with
the USTR about the Section 301 tariffs and to influence how the
USTR may modify or retain the tariffs going forward. The docket for
submitting comments will open on November 15, 2022, and close on
January 17, 2023.

USTR’s 4-Year Docket Review Questionnaire: What to
Expect

The USTR’s questionnaire (here) provides three sets of questions, which
we describe below. Commenters can submit one or more of these
sections based on their views. Commenters may also supplement their
questionnaire responses with attachments.

Section A (Effectiveness and Economy-Wide
Impact)
. The first section requests that
stakeholders gauge the effectiveness and economy-wide impacts of
the Section 301 tariffs. Stakeholders can share perspectives on
whether, for example, the tariffs have impacted China’s use of
discriminatory policies, what changes China has made to those
policies (if any), and whether the tariffs have counteracted
China’s policies. Additionally, stakeholders can describe how
the tariffs can be more effective, their impact on the U.S.
economy, and any alternate policy suggestions that the USTR should
consider.

Section B (Sector/Industry-Specific
Impact)
. The second section requests comments on
whether the tariffs have been effective in eliminating
discriminatory Chinese practices pertinent to specific sectors or
industries. Stakeholders can provide a detailed analysis of the
sector/industry-specific impacts that the Section 301 tariffs or
other policy options may have on U.S. employment, wages, domestic
manufacturing, capital investment, supply chain shifts and
resiliency, and consumer goods.

Section C (Tariff-Specific Impact).
The third section requests comments about specific tariff
subheadings covered by the Section 301 tariffs and whether those
tariffs should be maintained, eliminated, or changed. The
questionnaire asks whether tariffs on specific goods have affected
domestic manufacturing, U.S. employment and wages, small
businesses, inventory practices for products or downstream
products, and supply chain shifts. Further, stakeholders are given
the opportunity to identify goods that have not been subject to
Section 301 tariffs and that, in their opinion, should be.
Identified tariff codes will require an explanation of how new
tariffs could counter discriminatory Chinese policies and impact
the U.S. economy.

All comments will be posted on the docket, USTR-2022-0014 (here).
While comments will be publicly accessible, certain questions will
allow for the removal of business confidential information.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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