Following up on President Donald Trump’s tweets and an earlier press statement (see Trump and Trade Update of August 26, 2019), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has formally published a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on its intent to increase the Section 301 tariff from 25 percent to 30 percent on products from China appearing on Tranches/Lists 1-3. The proposed 5 percent increase would take effect October 1, 2019.
Written comments are due by September 20, 2019. The USTR is requesting that commenters focus on the proposed increase in the tariff from 25 percent to 30 percent and specifically invites comments on (1) whether increasing the rate of additional duties on one or more subheadings listed in the Tranches/Lists 1-3 Annexes would be practicable or effective in obtaining the elimination of China’s unfair trade actions, policies and practices, and (2) whether increasing the rate of additional duties on a particular product listed in the annexes would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small or medium-sized businesses and consumers. All submissions must be submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov on Docket No. USTR-2019-0015.