USTR New Target Tariff List Aims at China’s Forced Transfer of U.S. IP
Following USTR’s Section 301 investigation, President Trump announced in March that the United States will impose tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises. These policies bolster China’s stated intention of seizing economic leadership in advanced technology as set forth in its industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025.”
The proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy. Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.
The proposed list covers approximately 1,300 separate tariff lines and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products subject to the additional duties.
The total value of imports subject to the tariff increase is commensurate with an economic analysis of the harm caused by China’s unreasonable technology transfer policies to the U.S. economy, as covered by USTR’s Section 301 investigation.
Today’s announcement comes just days after the USTR filed a request for consultations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements. Such consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process. If the United States and China are unable to reach a solution through consultations, the United States may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.
The list of products and intended tariff increases can be found here.