On December 18, 2019 the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of modification of Section 301 action. In accordance with the direction of the President, USTR has determined to modify the action being taken in this Section 301 investigation by suspending, until further notice, the additional duty of 15 percent on certain products of China, scheduled to take effect December 15, 2019 (84 Fed. Reg. 43304).
The United States is engaging with China with the goal of obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation. On December 13, 2019, following months of negotiations, the United States and China reached a historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime, including with respect to certain issues covered in this Section 301 investigation.
In light of progress in the negotiations with China, and at the direction of the President, the USTR has determined that the action announced on August 20, as modified by the August 30 notice, is no longer appropriate. Specifically, and in accordance with the President’s direction, the USTR has determined to suspend indefinitely the imposition of additional duties of 15 percent on products of China covered by Annex C of the August 20 notice, which otherwise would have been effective on December 15, 2019.
Furthermore, in light of the progress in the negotiations, USTR expects to issue in the near future a notice reducing the rate of additional duty applicable to the products of China covered by Annex A of the August 20 notice.
USTR’s decision to modify the action being taken in this investigation takes into account the extensive comments and testimony previously provided in connection with the August 20 modification.
To give effect to USTR’s decision, the additional duties set out in Annex C of the August 20 notice, as modified by the August 30 notice, are suspended indefinitely, as of the planned effective date of 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on December 15, 2019. The additional duties that were provided for in heading 9903.88.16 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and US notes 20(t) and 20(u) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS and that were scheduled to take effect on December 15, 2019 are hereby suspended indefinitely.
USTR will continue to consider the actions being taken in this investigation. In the event that further modifications are appropriate, the US Trade Representative intends to take into account the extensive comments and testimony previously provided.