The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released a list of approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25 percent additional tariff as part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property. This second tranche of additional tariffs under Section 301 follows the first tranche of tariffs on approximately $34 billion of imports from China, which went into effect on July 6.
The list contains 279 of the original 284 tariff lines that were on a proposed list announced on June 15. Changes to the proposed list were made after USTR and the interagency Section 301 Committee sought and received written comments and testimony during a two-day public hearing last month. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on the Chinese imports on Aug. 23.
In March 2018, USTR released the findings of its exhaustive Section 301 investigation that found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce.
Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:
- China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
- China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
- China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
- China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
A formal notice of the $16 billion tariff action will be published shortly in the Federal Register. As in the case of the first tranche of additional tariffs, the notice will announce a process by which interested persons may request the exclusion of particular products covered by a tariff line subject to the additional duties.