Potential Opportunity Remains to Protect the Right to Seek a Refund of List 3 and List 4a Section 301 China Tariffs
Companies that have imports from China subject to List 3 and List 4a Section 301 tariffs may still have an opportunity to protect their right to seek a refund from the U.S. Government. To do so, a company would need to file a lawsuit in the Court of International Trade (CIT) challenging the List 3 and/or List 4a tariffs as unauthorized under the Trade Act of 1974 and implemented in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Approximately 4,000 such cases have been filed to date since September 2020. If test case plaintiffs prevail in their lawsuit currently being litigated on the merits in the CIT, then the plaintiffs, who have filed complaints and whose cases are stayed pending resolution of the test case, would be eligible to obtain refunds of the List 3 and List 4a Section 301 tariff amounts they have paid.
Such an action must be filed within two years after the cause of action first accrues. There are different theories about how the two-year statute of limitations is to be determined, including the theory that would allow a plaintiff to file a complaint now and recover List 3 and/or List 4a Section 301 tariffs paid to date going back two years from the date of filing.