On November 1, 2022, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) posted a list of questions interested parties may address in the agency’s ongoing four-year statutory review of the Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. While the portal for submitting comments will not formally open until November 15, 2022, the USTR published the questionnaire on its website in advance of the open comment period “to provide advance notice to submitters” — noting that the questions “may be clarified or amended.”
As part of the review, the USTR is seeking public comments on the effectiveness of the actions in achieving the objectives of the investigation, other actions that could be taken, and the effects of such actions on the U.S. economy. The USTR in its questionnaire seeks to gather responses in three main areas of inquiry: (1) the overall effectiveness of the trade actions and comments on the actions and tariffs on an “economy-wide level,” including any impact on the U.S. economy and consumers; (2) sector and industry-specific impact and effectiveness of the trade actions; and (3) the utility of the tariff headings covered by this Section 301 trade action. For the first two areas of inquiry, the USTR asks (a) if the actions have been effective in obtaining the elimination of or in counteracting China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation; (b) whether there are other actions that could be taken under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 that might help eliminate or counteract China’s actions and policies; and (c) whether there have been any impacts on U.S. workers, small businesses, the supply chain, and U.S. consumers. For the third area of inquiry, noting that the actions apply additional duties to goods under 10,351 eight-digit tariff codes and 57 ten-digit tariff codes of the current Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), the USTR in its questionnaire seeks comments on whether any specific HTSUS codes should be removed, remain covered by the tariffs, or added.
All comments must be submitted via the the USTR’s online portal at https://comments.USTR.gov on Docket No. USTR-2022-0014. The portal will allow for the submission of Business Confidential Information (BCI). The USTR will post submissions in the docket for public inspection, except for BCI filings. The docket will close on January 17, 2023. At a later date, the USTR will evaluate whether to provide further opportunities for public comment through additional written comments or by holding public hearings.
In early September 2022, the USTR confirmed that domestic industries had reported benefiting from the tariffs and that such tariffs would continue during the review process (see Update of September 6, 2022). For more details on the initiation of these reviews and the public comment period, see Updates of May 3, 2022 and October 13, 2022.