On March 22, 2018, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum in which he announced the actions the United States will take in response to China’s allegedly unfair trade practices found by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in its Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The actions are as follows:
Tariffs – The President instructed USTR to publish a proposed list of products with proposed tariff increases within 15 days of the date of the Memorandum. USTR will allow for notice and comment on the proposed list before publishing a final list and implementing any tariffs. USTR announced that the proposed list will be published in the Federal Register and comments will be due within 30 days of publication. The Federal Register notice will also announce a date for a public hearing.
WTO Dispute Settlement – The President instructed USTR to pursue dispute settlement at the WTO regarding China’s discriminatory technology licensing practices and report its progress to the President within 60 days. In accordance with the President’s Memorandum, USTR has already filed a request for consultations with China at the WTO
Investment Restrictions – The President instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to propose executive branch action to address concerns about investment in the United States directed or facilitated by China in industries or technologies deemed important to the United States. The Secretary must report his progress to the President within 60 days.
The practical effects of this announcement will be clearer in the near future when the exact Chinese products affected will be announced and when the Chinese government announces its reaction, which is likely to start with its own retaliatory tariffs. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as information becomes available. For additional information, please contact Stephen Brophy, Nithya Nagarajan or Jeffrey S. Neeley.