The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced Oct. 17 that starting Nov. 15, it will begin soliciting comments on the effectiveness of Section 301 tariffs the Trump Administration placed on Chinese goods. The notice and request for comments relate to USTR’s ongoing four-year statutory review of the Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.
In the Federal Registrar Notice, USTR said it is seeking “public comments on the effectiveness of the actions in achieving the objectives of the investigation, other actions that could be taken, and the effects of such actions on the United States economy, including consumers.”
The USTR is specifically interested in comments on the following:
- The effectiveness of the actions in obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
- The effectiveness of the actions in counteracting China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
- Other actions or modifications that would be more effective in obtaining the elimination of or in counteracting China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
- The effects of the actions on the U.S. economy, including on U.S. consumers.
- The effects of the actions on domestic manufacturing, including in terms of capital investments, domestic capacity and production levels, industry concentrations, and profits.
- The effects of the actions on U.S. technology, including in terms of U.S. technological leadership and U.S. technological development.
- The effects of the actions on U.S. workers, including with respect to employment and wages.
- The effects of the actions on U.S. small businesses.
- The effects of the actions on U.S. supply chain resilience.
- The effects of the actions on the goals of U.S. critical supply chains.
- Whether the actions have resulted in higher additional duties on inputs used for additional manufacturing in the United States than the additional duties on particular downstream product(s) or finished good(s) incorporating those inputs.
The continuing assessment of these additional duties has been criticized by some business groups and lawmakers who believe they have hurt both U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers but have not checked China’s behavior. They also have called for the reinstatement of previously issued exclusions and for a new, robust tariff exclusion process. Some labor and civil society groups, however, want the tariffs to remain in place. The fate of these tariffs is closely tied to the Biden administration’s ongoing review and the overall U.S.–China trade relationship. The controversial tariff program that covers upwards of $300 billion worth of imports from China has sparked lawsuits from more than 3,500 importers.
The comment period begins on Nov. 15 and extends until Jan. 17. USTR said it will post specific questions on its website Nov. 1 before the portal opens.