Law & Order

U.S. Trade Representative to Review Section 301 China Tariffs

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice that it will begin a formal review process of the Section 301 tariffs on goods imported from China that could lead to the continuation, modification or end to the tariffs. At this time, the review is only for the List 1 and List 2 tariffs but a review for Lists 3 and 4a will be announced later this year.

When Section 301 tariffs are imposed, the law requires the USTR to pursue a review at the beginning of the fourth-year. The first step is to notify representatives of domestic industries, which benefit from the tariffs about the possibility of the tariffs being terminated and allow those representatives to request their continuation. Requests for continuation must be received in the 60 days leading up to the four-year anniversary of the tariffs, which is by July 5 for List 1 and August 22 for List 2.

Assuming a continuation request is received, the tariffs will remain in place into the next phase of the review process when all interested stakeholders may provide comments. At this time, SEMA will provide comments recommending the removal of the tariffs. The USTR will then review the public comments and determine whether to continue, modify, or end the tariffs.  

In 2018, the USTR instituted a Section 301 investigation of Chinese trade practices and imposed $50 billion in tariffs on a variety of goods on Lists 1 and 2, including miscellaneous metal and rubber parts. After China responded with retaliatory tariffs, the U.S. imposed the additional List 3 and 4a tariffs. The List 3 tariffs apply to most auto parts. They began at 10% in September 2018 but increased to 25% in May 2019.  

For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at