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Under Section 301 Action, USTR Releases Proposed Tariff List on Chinese Products - US Trade Representative

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today 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 approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises. These policies bolster China’s stated intention of seizing economic leadershipUn in advanced technology as set forth in its industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025.”

The proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy. Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.

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

Today’s announcement comes 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. Such consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process. If the United States and China are unable to reach a solution through consultations, the United States may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.

The list of products and intended tariff increases can be found here.


Section 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel - U.S. Customs Border & Protection

Additional Duty on Imports of Steel and Aluminum Articles under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962

BACKGROUND:  On March 8, 2018, the President issued Proclamations 9704 and 9705 on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862), providing for additional import duties for steel mill and aluminum articles, effective March 23, 2018. See the Federal Register, 83 FR 11619 and 83 FR 11625, March 15, 2018. On March 22, 2018, the President issued Proclamations on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States.

These duty requirements are effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018.

COMMODITY:  Steel mill and aluminum articles, as specified in the Presidential Proclamations.

COUNTRIES COVERED:  March 23, 2018 through April 30, 2018: All countries of origin except Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil and member countries of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

As of May 1, 2018: All countries of origin.  Please note this is based on the country of origin, not the country of export.

ENTRY SUMMARY FILING INSTRUCTIONS:

Steel Products
In addition to reporting the regular Chapters 72 & 73 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification for the imported merchandise, importers shall report the following HTS classification for imported merchandise subject to the additional duty: 9903.80.01 (25 percent ad valorem additional duty for steel mill products)

Aluminum Products
In addition to reporting the regular Chapter 76 of the HTS classification for the imported merchandise, importers shall report the following HTS classification for imported merchandise subject to the additional duty:  9903.85.01 (10 percent ad valorem additional duty for aluminum products)

Importers and filers failing to submit the required Chapter 99 HTS classifications with the entry summary information for imports under the specified Chapter 72, 73, and 76 HTS classifications for the covered countries of origin will receive the following reject messages:

E1 IQ10 LINE SUBJECT TO QUOTA
E1 FQ09 QUOTA NOT ALLOWED FOR ENTRY TYPE
E1 FQ05 BANNED IMPORT
E1 RF998 TRANSACTION DATA REJECTED

Note: Quota is not in effect, but this ACE functionality is being used to validate entry summary transmissions and reject when validations determine the data is missing the required chapter 99 number.

Importers or filers failing to submit the required Chapter 99 HTS classifications with Post Summary Corrections (PSCs) for imports under the specified Chapter 72, 73, and 76 HTS classifications for the covered countries of origin will receive the same reject message specified above.

Importers or filers receiving one of the reject messages above, who have researched their classification and dates to confirm the entry summaries were incorrectly rejected, should contact their assigned Client Representative with the results of their review.

If you contact a client representative about an incorrectly rejected entry summary or PSC, provide the following entry data to the Client Representative: Entry Number, Line, Country of Origin, HTS, Quantity and Entry Date pursuant to 19 CFR 141.68. The Client Representatives will forward that information to HQ Quota who will internally review and address the data so that it can be resent without the Chapter 99 numbers.

Additional Information
Any steel or aluminum article subject to the Section 232 duties that is admitted into U.S. foreign trade zones on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018, must be admitted as “privileged foreign status” as defined in 19 CFR 146.41, and will be subject upon entry for consumption to any ad valorem rates of duty related to the classification under the applicable HTSUS subheading.

Any steel or aluminum article that was admitted into U.S. foreign trade zones under "privileged foreign status" as defined in 19 CFR 146.41, prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018, will likewise be subject upon entry for consumption to any ad valorem rates of duty related to the classification under applicable HTSUS subheadings imposed by the Proclamations.

The merchandise covered by the additional duties may also be subject to antidumping and countervailing duties.

CBP will issue additional guidance on entry requirements for any products excluded from these measures, as soon as information is available. CBP will also issue updated guidance if there are any changes to these measures, including any changes to exempted countries and any new requirements, such as quota requirements.

We have also received numerous questions about which Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classifications under HTS 7616.99.51 are subject to the Section 232 duties. Per the Presidential Proclamations, 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70 are subject to the Section 232 duties.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
For more information, please refer to the Presidential Proclamations on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States, Federal Register, 83 FR 11619 and 83 FR 11625, March 15, 2018; and the March 22, 2018 Presidential Proclamations on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States.


2017 GSP Annual Product Review: 2017 Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations (CNLs), De Minimis Waivers, and Product Redesignations - United States Trade Representative

This document contains the lists referred to in a Federal Register Notice published April 4, 2018 regarding 2017 annual trade data and reopening the process for the review of products eligible for GSP. These lists are provided for informational purposes only.

Interested parties are strongly encouraged to independently research the 2017 trade statistics, using the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb site, which can be found at https://dataweb.usitc.gov/.

List I shows GSP-eligible articles from beneficiary developing countries (BDCs) that exceeded a Competitive Need Limitation (CNL) by having been imported into the United States in 2017 in excess of $180 million, or in a quantity equal to or greater than 50 percent of the total U.S. import value for this product in 2017. These products will be removed from eligibility for GSP for the subject countries on November 1, 2018, unless the President grants a waiver for the product for the subject country in response to a petition filed by an interested party. As discussed in the Federal Register Notice referenced above, USTR will accept petitions requesting a waiver of the CNL; however, if a CNL waiver petition has already been filed, an additional petition is not necessary. If imports of a product exceed the 50 percent CNL, but there has been no U.S. production in the last 3 years, a waiver may still be granted under the
Not Produced in the U.S. provision of the GSP statute.

List II identifies GSP-eligible articles from BDCs that are above the 50 percent CNL, but that are eligible for a de minimis waiver of the 50 percent CNL. Articles eligible for de minimis waivers are automatically considered in the GSP annual review process without the filing of a petition. Petitions to deny de minimis can be submitted and will be subject to the procedures outlined in the Federal Register Notice referenced above.

List III shows GSP-eligible articles from certain BDCs that are currently not receiving GSP duty-free treatment, but that may be considered for GSP redesignation based on 2017 trade data and consideration of certain statutory factors. Note that products exceeding 50 percent of imports can be considered for redesignation if there was no U.S. production in the last three years (the lack of U.S. production will be one of the factors to be considered for all redesignation petitions). Petitions for redesignation can be submitted
and will be subject to the procedures outlined in the Federal Register Notice referenced above.


Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Laminated Woven Sacks from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

On March 27, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated its less-than-fair-value and countervailing duty investigations of “Laminated Woven Sacks from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” (Initiation Notice). These investigations have been assigned case numbers A-552-823 and C-552-824.

The Scope of Merchandise covered by these investigations reads as follows:

The merchandise covered by this investigation is laminated woven sacks. Laminated woven sacks are bags consisting of one or more plies of fabric consisting of woven polypropylene strip and/or woven polyethylene strip, regardless of the width of the strip; with or without an extrusion coating of polypropylene and/or polyethylene on one or both sides of the fabric; laminated by any method either to an exterior ply of plastic film such as biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), polyester (PET), polyethylene (PE), nylon, or any film suitable for printing, or to an exterior ply of paper; printed; displaying, containing, or comprising three or more visible colors (e.g., laminated woven sacks printed with three different shades of blue would be covered by the scope), not including the color of the woven fabric; regardless of the type of printing process used; with or without lining; with or without handles; with or without special closing features (including, but not limited to, closures that are sewn, glued, easy-open (e.g., tape or thread), re-closable (e.g., slider, hook and loop, zipper), hot-welded, adhesive-welded, or press- to-close); whether finished or unfinished (e.g., whether or not closed on one end and whether or not in roll form, including, but not limited to, sheets, lay-flat, or formed in tubes); not exceeding one kilogram in actual weight. Laminated woven sacks produced in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are subject to the scope regardless of the country of origin of the fabric used to make the sack.

Subject laminated woven sacks are currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 6305.33.0040. If entered with plastic coating on both sides of the fabric consisting of woven polypropylene strip and/or woven polyethylene strip, laminated woven sacks may be classifiable under HTSUS subheadings 3923.21.0080, 3923.21.0095, and 3923.29.0000. If entered not closed on one end or in roll form (including, but not limited to, sheets, lay-flat tubing, and sleeves), laminated woven sacks may be classifiable under other HTSUS subheadings, including 3917.39.0050, 3921.90.1100, 3921.90.1500, and 5903.90.2500. If the polypropylene strips and/or polyethylene strips making up the fabric measure more than 5 millimeters in width, laminated woven sacks may be classifiable under other HTSUS subheadings including 4601.99.0500, 4601.99.9000, and 4602.90.0000. Although HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

Requirements for Submitting Comments on the Scope of the Investigations: Please be sure to comply with all three requirements established below.

Deadline for Submitting Comments:

As announced in the Initiation Notices, Commerce is setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). The period for scope comments is intended to provide Commerce with ample opportunity to consider all comments and to consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination, as appropriate. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. Commerce requests that all such comments be filed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Monday, April 16, 2018, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 26, 2018, which is 10 calendar days from the initial comments deadline. Commerce requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations identified above.

Required Entry of Appearance:

Parties wishing to participate in this segment and be included on the public service list must file a letter of appearance. Section 351.103(d)(1) of Commerce’s regulations states that “with the exception of a petitioner filing a petition in an investigation, to be included on the public service list for a particular segment, each interested party must file a letter of appearance.” The letter of appearance must be filed separately from any other document (with the exception of an application for APO access). Note, the letter of appearance must state how the party qualifies as an interested party (e.g., an exporter, producer, importer of the subject merchandise) and must include a point of contact, including address, telephone/fax number and email address.

All submissions to Commerce must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time, typically 5 p.m. ET, and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance’s APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.
 
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