USTR to Implement 301 Tariff Increases

From Fred Waite and Kim Young, AWPA Counsel

On May 14 both the White House and the U.S. Trade Representative issued statements regarding the review of the Section 301 tariffs on China.

The significant parts of these statements are as follows:

  • The USTR is recommending an increase in the tariff rate on many steel and aluminum products to 25%.  It is clear that the White House welcomes and will implement these recommendations.
  • A large number of basic steel products (e.g., semi, long, structural, and pipe products and wire) are currently on List 4A of the tariffs with a tariff rate of 7.5%.  Presumably, all of these products will be subject to the tariff rate increase to 25%.
  • The USTR is also recommending significant tariff rate increases for a wide range of manufactured products, including electric vehicles (100%), solar cells and semiconductors (50%), and batteries, cranes, graphite, and certain critical minerals (25%).  A list of these products appears in the USTR Announcement.
  • There will be an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing, particularly certain solar manufacturing equipment.

Neither the Presidential Statement nor the USTR Announcement sets a date on which these and other changes will go into effect.  The USTR Announcement does state that, next week, it will issue a Federal Register notice announcing procedures for interested persons to comment on the proposed modifications and information concerning an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing. Perhaps that notice will set a date for the implementation of the increased tariff rates.

AWPA members will benefit from the proposed 25% tariff on carbon, alloy, and stainless steel wire from China.  However, most wire products from China are already subject to a 25% tariff; they appear on List 3.

You can read the related statements on the AWPA website. Here are links:

Fred Waite and Kim Young will continue to monitor announcements from the White House and USTR for additional developments, and we will notify you as we learn anything more.