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Regulatory Compliance Updates – March 2018

President Trump Proposes Increased Tariffs on China Imports

Based upon an investigation by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2411) President Trump issued a Memorandum on March 22 stating he will impose about $60 billion worth of annual tariffs on Chinese imports as a result of China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.  The tariffs, which the United States trade representative will publish within 15 days, will target 1,300 lines of Chinese goods — everything from shoes and clothing to electronics, administration officials said.  Under the terms of the memorandum, the President ordered a 60-day consultation period, which will give industry lobbyists and legislators a chance to water down a proposed target list.

U.S. Exempts Allies from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The New York Times reported that USTR Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee that the European Union, along with Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea, would be exempt from the 25% tariffs on steel products and the 10% tariff on aluminum products. Canada and Mexico were earlier left off the list of countries subject to the tariffs.  Notably absent from the list of exempt countries was Japan.

Commerce Releases Requirements for Requesting Product-Based Exclusions from the Section 232 Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

The Department of Commerce released requirements for requesting product-based exclusions from the Section 232 Aluminum and Steel Tariffs.  The requirements specify that these exclusions will be limited to entities located in the United States; will be made on a product basis; and, will be limited to the individual or organization that submitted the request, unless Commerce approves a broader application of that particular product’s exclusion.  A separate exclusion request must be filed for each distinct product to be imported.  The requirements also specify that exclusion requests must be filed using specific forms: Steel Exclusion Forms and Aluminum Exclusion Forms.