The U.S. Trade Representative has published a notice in today’s Federal Register proposing further action by imposing additional tariffs up to 25% on nearly all remaining HTS numbers not currently found on Lists 1 through 3. The exceptions are pharmaceutical products, certain medical goods, rare earth materials, critical minerals, and goods that have been previously granted exclusions. The full list of proposed HTS numbers is in the Annex to the notice. The list impacts wearing apparel, footwear, toys, electronics, and other consumer goods.
The USTR is accepting comments according to the following schedule:
June 10, 2019 – Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing.
June 17, 2019 – Due date for submission of written comments.
June 17, 2019 – Public hearing at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Seven days after the last day of the public hearing: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.
When submitting comments, the public should address the tariff numbers to be subject to the increased duties, including whether the subheadings listed in the Annex should be retained or removed, or whether subheadings not currently on the list should be added; the level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty; and the appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties.
In commenting on the inclusion or removal of particular subheadings, commenters should address specifically whether imposing increased duties on a particular product would be practicable or effective to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices, and whether imposing additional duties on a particular product would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small- or medium-size businesses and consumers. Further details on how to submit comments are found in the Federal Register notice. We encourage all interested parties impacted by List 4 to participate in this process.
Importers should also take a close look at their Customs bonds to ensure sufficient coverage should these additional duties go into effect.
Based on the date schedule above, the List 4 duties would not go into effect prior to June 24, 2019. The G20 summit is scheduled to be held in Japan on June 28-29, 2019. President Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi at the summit which could impact whether or not List 4 goes into effect or at what duty rate.
Vandegrift will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available.