Section 232 & 301 Tariffs: Quantifying Your Potential Risk Exposure and Fighting Back

What’s happening right now?

The U.S. government’s decision to impose Section 232 and 301 tariffs has received significant attention.

Here’s a quick recap:

On March 8, 2018, President Trump issued two Presidential Proclamations announcing the imposition of special Section 232 duties on certain steel and aluminum products. Shortly thereafter, on March 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an interim rule in the Federal Register establishing a new process by which organizations may submit requests to exclude their products from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Three days later, on March 22, 2018, President Trump announced his decision to take action against what he terms as China’s unfair trade practices. These are outlined in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 investigation report of China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, which you can find here. As part of the U.S. response, the USTR proposed an additional tariff of 25 percent on a list of products imported from China. The list of products, which is defined by 8-digit HTS subheadings, is set out in this Federal Register notice. The new Section 301 tariffs could potentially affect over 1,300 HTS lines.

Both Section 232 and 301 tariffs are in addition to other general or special duties that may apply. It is important to remember that special duties – such as antidumping and countervailing (ADD/CVD) – continue to be a high priority issue in the international trade arena. Regardless of the impact made by the above tariffs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to actively monitor and audit high-risk antidumping and countervailing activity. For more ADD/CVD information, Partner Adrienne Braumiller, as well as Attorneys Jennifer Horvath and Paul Fudacz, offer a robust contribution on the topic in the latest Chambers International Trade 2018 Guide.

How can we help?

Companies need to understand the potential monetary impact of Section 232 and 301 tariffs and whether your products have any ADD/CVD risks. Utilizing your firm’s ACE data and our analytical tools, we – and our team of former U.S. Customs Regulatory Auditors – are able to provide you with an import risk assessment along with a potential range of duties owed.

We can help you explore specific exclusions for products “determined not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality”, or “based upon specific national security considerations.” We can also work with your company to comment on the interim rule (to address the new BIS process), which must be filed by May 18, 2018.

In addition, we can prepare documents with comments and appear at the May 15th hearing in Washington DC regarding Section 301 tariffs. If this is something you wish to pursue, here are the critical dates:

• April 23, 2018: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing and for filing pre-hearing submissions.
• May 11, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments.
• May 15, 2018: Section 301 Committee convenes a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW Washington DC 20436 beginning at 10:00 am.
• May 22, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.

For further information or questions about this matter, please contact: Adrienne Braumiller (adrienne@braumillerlaw.com).

The above offering is the combined effort and expertise of Braumiller Law Group, and Braumiller Consulting Group

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