Over the weekend, China and the United States continued bilateral trade consultations and announced they had reached a consensus on “taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China.” In a Joint Statement, both countries agreed (1) to increases in U.S. agriculture and energy exports, (2) on the need for more favorable conditions for trade in manufactured goods and services, and (3) that China would address intellectual property protections. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the two countries are “putting the trade war on hold.”
Despite these announcements, Thompson Hine has confirmed with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that the China Section 301 investigation and determination continues. The previously published deadline of May 22, 2018, remains in effect for submitting rebuttal comments to last week’s multi-day Section 301 committee hearing on the investigation and the proposed list of products that would receive an additional duty of 25 percent. Upon receiving all final rebuttal comments, the committee will continue its review and analysis of what categories of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) will remain on the list, which may be removed, and whether any new categories may be added.