The BOC Blast 252 – Important Sect 301 China Tariff Update

Important Sect 301 China Tariff Update

In the most recent and concerning developments in the “China Tariff War”, yesterday President Trump instructed the US Trade Representative’s office to consider a proposal to raise the proposed duty on products included on Section 301 List 3 from 10% to 25%.

As many know, “List 3” includes over 6,000 HTS line items including items from virtually every HTS chapter.

Many companies with products falling on List 3 were concerned with an increase of 10%.  However, an increase of 25% could have serious consequences for these companies.

There is no definitive decision on whether this will move forward.  However, the public comment period for the 301 List 3 has now been extended from August 30 to September 5.  In addition, the deadline to request to appear at the public hearing has been extended to August. 13.

The requirements for filing public comments were published in the Federal Register on July 17.  If you need a copy, please contact the office.

The USTR notice will be published in the Federal Register, likely in the next few days.

USTR Rpresentative Lighthizer’s statement is below:

“On June 18, the President directed me to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent, in response to China’s decision to cause further harm to U.S. workers, farmers, and businesses by imposing retaliatory duties on U.S. goods.  I initiated this process on July 10.

“This week, the President has directed that I consider increasing the proposed level of the additional duty from 10 percent to 25 percent.  The 25 percent duty would be applied to the proposed list of products previously announced on July 10.

“The Trump Administration continues to urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition.  We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake.  Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.

“The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the Administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens.

“The United States has joined forces with like-minded partners around the world to address unfair trade practices such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft, and we remain ready to engage with China in negotiations that could resolve these and other problems detailed in our Section 301 report.”

Interested parties may address this possible increase in the level of the additional duty in their comments on the proposed action.  The proposed list and process for the public notice and comment period is set out in the Federal Register notice issued on July 10 and published in the Federal Register on July 17.  To view the July 17 notice, including the list of proposed products to be subject to additional duties, click here.  In light of the possible increase of the additional duty rate to 25 percent, the close of the written comment period is extended from August 30 to September 5, and the due date for requests to appear at the public hearing is extended to August 13.  These modifications to the comment period will be set out in a notice to be published shortly in the Federal Register.

In addition, the public comment period for products on List 2 closed last week.  This list is under final review by the USTR’s office and could be published at any time now.   The products on this list are subject to 25% duty.  Keep in mind that this process could move very quickly.

If you have questions or need assistance with any of the Section 301 tariff issues, please contact our office.


Paula M. Connelly, Esq.

Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly

100 Trade Center

Suite 660

Woburn, MA 01801


Paula M. Connelly is a principal in the Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly, a law firm specializing in Customs and international trade matters. She has been practicing law since 1991 and prior to working as an attorney, worked as a licensed Customs broker for several customs brokerage companies in the Boston area. She has over 20 years experience in Customs and International Trade matters and works with numerous importers and exporters in addressing and resolving import and export compliance issues.