January 5, 2023

USTR Continues 4-Year Review of Actions Taken Against China Under Section 301

Holland & Knight Alert
Andrew K. McAllister | Mackenzie A. Zales


  • The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting public comment on the tariffs imposed on Chinese imports implemented pursuant to the Section 301 investigation against China.
  • Public comments should prioritize the effectiveness of the actions taken and recommendations for additional actions under Section 301.
  • The public comment period closes on Jan. 17, 2023.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is accepting public comments through Jan. 17, 2023, on its four-year review of actions taken in the Section 301 investigation against China. Responses can be submitted through the USTR portal. This is the primary opportunity for U.S. importers, U.S. manufacturers and other parties to provide substantive feedback to USTR on the Section 301 actions, particularly as they relate to specific tariff heading sections. Also, parties can comment on whether these actions are tailored and targeted to address Chinese practices/policies while continuing to support U.S. commerce. USTR will consider these comments in determining future action under Section 301.

Section 301 Background

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act) authorizes USTR to impose trade sanctions, usually in the form of tariffs, on countries that create an "unjustifiable" or "unreasonable" burden on U.S. commerce through unfair trade practices. Pursuant to Section 301, USTR initiated an investigation of China's technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation policies and practices in August 2017. The investigation resulted in additional tariffs on approximately $370 billion in Chinese imports (the Section 301 Tariffs), implemented in a series of tranches or lists. The types of products covered by the Section 301 Tariffs are from a diverse set of industries and impact most imports from China.

Review of Actions Against China

As required by Section 307(c)(3) of the Trade Act, USTR is conducting a review of the effectiveness of the Section 301 Tariffs. One step in this review is a public request for comments and feedback, which USTR is effectuating through an online questionnaire. USTR's questions are divided into economy-wide, sector/industry-wide and tariff heading sections. Within each section, the questions prioritize:

  1. The effectiveness of the actions in eliminating or counteracting China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation
  2. How the actions have impacted U.S. workers and consumers
  3. The effects of the actions on domestic manufacturing, including in terms of capital investments, domestic capacity and production levels, industry concentrations, and profits
  4. The effects of the actions on U.S. supply chain resilience
  5. Other actions or modifications that would be more effective than the current Section 301 Tariffs

For additional information or questions regarding this request for public comment, or for assistance in filing a comment, please contact the authors or another member of Holland & Knight's International Trade Group.

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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