Breaking news – Section 301 Statement by US Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and list of Chinese goods impacted by $200 billion in tariffs.

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Robert Lighthizer, official portrait, work of the U.S. Federal Government

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer released a statement today regarding Section 301 of the Trade Act.

The full statement can be read here.

Here’s a summary of the statement:
1. Last Friday, US started imposing tariffs of 25% on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.
2. Will eventually cover $50 billion in Chinese imports.
3. Tariffs are against products that benefit from China’s industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices.
4. China retaliated with $34 billion in tariffs and threats on $16 billion more.
5. In resopnse to China’s retaliation, President Trump ordered tariffs of 10% on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Brief history of the 301 tariffs:
1. Last August (2017), President Trump asked USTR to begin the Section 301 process. The basis of the 301 was due to China’s”abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation.”
2. USTR conducted investigation, published 200 page report showing: “China has been engaging in industrial policy which has resulted in the transfer and theft of intellectual property and technology to the detriment of our economy and the future of our workers and businesses. ”
3. The USTR also found these “practices are an existential threat to America’s most critical comparative advantage and the future of our economy: our intellectual property and technology.”

To view the Federal Register notice and list of proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, click here.

If you have any questions how these 301 tariffs may impact your business, or if you would like to submit comments to the US Government, please contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Automakers rush to ship vehicles to US ahead of threat of higher tariffs.

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According to Reuters, port data, port officials and logistics companies (freight forwarders) are reporting an uptick in vehicle imports to the US, with the three leading US ports reporting 23,000 more cars importer than they did the same time last year.

The Trump administration indicated last Friday they were investigating whether to increase tariffs on cars from the EU with a decision to be made in three to four weeks.

The tariffs of 25% per vehicle would likely make even entry level luxury import cars less attractive. For example, 25% duties could raise the price of the BMW 3 series anywhere from $8-$10k dollars.

More news will be posted as they become available.

 

Canada announces retaliatory tariffs. Link to full list below.

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As has been widely reported on Reuters, NBC, CNN, Dailymail etc., Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the final list of items that will be subject to tariffs  of 10-20% starting July 1st.

The full list can be found here.

The list includes ballpoint pens, inflatable boats, playing cards, sleeping bags, portable stoves, toilet paper, ketchup, pizza, maple syrup etc. Seems like the only people will be the Canadian Boy Scouts! Just kidding, the list includes steel, aluminum, bovine animals; prepared meals etc.

It will be interesting to see whether these tariffs will impact the US surplus with Canada. Since 1985, the US has had a yearly trade surplus with Canada and the new tariffs will impact about 12.5 billion in goods from the US. In 2017, the US held a trade surplus of 25.9 billion dollars.

If you import or export any of the impacted goods and have questions moving forward, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Trump threatens tariffs on imports of European cars.

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According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration threatened a tariff of 20% on cars imported from the European Union if the EU does not remove import duties on U.S. goods.

President Trump tweeted:

“Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!” Trump said in a tweet on Friday.

Not mentioned in the Bloomberg article – but some European manufacturers already make vehicles in the US. For example, Mercedes-Benz builds their GLE SUV, GLS SUV, the C-Class and the GLE Coupe in Alabama. BMW builds their X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 models in South Carolina. Mexico is also host to manufacturing for Audi’s Q5 and VW’s Tiguan and Jetta models.

The EU has already imposed tariffs on $3.3 billion in U.S. goods and would impose further tariffs in the event the U.S. goes through with the import car tariffs.

Further updates will be posted as they become available.

Trump proposes further tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

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Official Portrait of Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer

US Trade Representative (USTR), Robert Lighthizer released a statement supporting Trump’s request for the USTR to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for an additional 10% in tariffs.

This follows Trump’s announcement last Friday of a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods to counter what Trump claims to be “China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices”.

Lighthizer’s full statement reads:

“I support the President’s action. The initial tariffs that the President asked us to put in place were proportionate and responsive to forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft by the Chinese. It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. At the President’s direction, USTR is preparing the proposed tariffs to offset China’s action.”

Call David Hsu if you have any questions on how US and Chinese tariffs may impact your business, 832-896-6288 or mail at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

EU will vote to adopt”counter-balancing measures”on June 20th.

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At the next scheduled European Commission meeting scheduled for today (June 20th), the commission will vote on whether to adopt “counter-balancing measures” against the US.

Last Thursday (June 14th), the European Union countries unanimously endorsed a plan to impose counter trade tariffs against the US covering $3.3 billion worth of US products.

Once the vote is approved, the duties on US goods to the EU should be in place late June or early July.

 

EU imposes tariffs on US goods starting July 1, 2018. Full list here.

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No surprise here – the Associated Press on June 6th published an article stating the European Union (EU) will start imposing duties on US goods starting this July in response to the current administration’s decisions to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

The increase in tariffs covers US goods such as steel, cigarettes, t-shirts, women’s cotton denim trousers, rice, broken rice (not a typo), tobacco, bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. The official list of goods subject to a 10%-50% duty can be viewed here.

Based on the items subject to new tariffs, seems like the majority of the people who will be effected are the consumers.

If you have any questions, please contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

U.S. Commerce Secretary in China for trade talks.

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According to an Associated Press article from June 1st, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday for talks on China’s promise to buy more American goods.

The talks are about China’s May 19th announcement to narrow the trade surplus with the US, which reached a record high of $375 billion USD last year. China previously indicated they would increase purchase of farm goods, energy and other goods and services.

Additionally, the US may not get the commitment it seeks in reducing the trade deficit as China’s “Made in China 2025” plan seeks to establish China as an industry leader in high tech industries such as robotics, computer chips and electric vehicles.

A resolution may not occur with just one meeting as Trump has threatened tariffs on $100 billion of Chinese goods and China threatening retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion of US goods.

Check back for the latest news of the results of the Secretary Ross meeting.

If you have any questions about current antidumping or countervailing duty actions on goods from China – feel free to call experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

It’s official – US issues trade tariffs on steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

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The Whitehouse issued two presidential proclamations that placed 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The full proclamations can be found here for steel and here for aluiminum.

If you have any questions on how these new tariffs will impact your business or what options you may have – contact experienced antidumping attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com for a free evaluation.

Section 301 Duties to be announced by June 15, 2018.

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According to a Whitehouse.gov statement released today (May 29, 2018) titled: “Statement on Steps to Protect Domestic Technology and Intellectual Property from China’s Discriminatory and Burdensome Trade Practices” found here, the US will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China “containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the “Made in China 2025” program.  The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter.

What is the “Made in China 2025” Program?
Made in China 2025 (Chinese: 中国制造2025) is a plan issued by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in May 2015 to make China more self-sufficient and a manufacturing superpower in high-tech industries. An English version of the initiative can be found here.

What is Section 301?
Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, authorizes the President to take all appropriate action, including retaliation, to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts U.S. commerce.

Section 301 is worded in general terms and allows for broad discretion from the President.

What are other points mentioned in the press release?

  1. There will also be other restrictions and increased export controls for Chinese persons and entities and will be announced on June 30, 2018.
  2. The US will continue litigating in the WTO for violations of intellectual property against China related to licensing of intellectual property. The US filed the case with the TWO on March 23, 2018.

Check back here on June 15, 2018 for the final list and tariff amounts to be imposed on the goods from China. If you have any questions how these Section 301 tariffs will impact your business, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.