Shaping The Future Of Tariffs: USITC Investigating Economic Impact Of Section 301 And 232 Actions
Monday, June 13, 2022

In early May, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced its fact-finding investigation into the economic impact of the Section 301 China tariffs and the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. As directed by Congress, the USITC must submit a report on U.S. trade, production, and prices in the industries directly and most affected by these tariffs to Congress by March 15, 2023.

To aid in its investigation, the USITC invites interested parties – such as importers of steel, aluminum and Chinese-origin goods as well as domestic manufacturers of such goods – to testify at a public hearing. The deadline to request an appearance at the hearing is July 6, 2022, and the hearing is set for July 21, 2022.  

Parties also may submit pre- and post-hearing briefs and additional written comments regarding the effect of the tariffs. Importers and others interested in participating in the investigation are urged to monitor the USITC’s instructions for proper submission of such hearing appearance requests, briefs and written comments. 

Background 

In 2018, the United States levied 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs on certain steel and aluminum imports, respectively, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019, the U.S. imposed duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on Chinese-origin goods, which exist in four tranches and range from 7.5 percent to 25 percent, totaling approximately $370 billion of annual U.S. imports. These Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs remain in effect today.

Much like the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) current sunset review of the Section 301 tariffs, the USITC’s public hearing and written comments process will play a significant role in shaping the future of the tariff actions. The USITC investigation differs, however, in that it is examining the economic impact of Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs on U.S. industries, while the USTR is currently conducting the first phase review of soliciting domestic support for the Section 301 tariff actions. Plus, the USITC investigation invites participation from a broader spectrum of parties (i.e., those who benefit from or are adversely impacted by Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs).

Pertinent Dates

The USITC investigation’s deadlines can be found in its Federal Register notice and are: 

  • July 6, 2022: For filing requests to appear at the public hearing

  • July 8, 2022: For filing prehearing briefs and statements

  • July 14, 2022: For filing electronic copies of oral hearing statements

  • July 21, 2022: Public hearing

  • Aug. 12, 2022: For filing post-hearing briefs and statements 

  • Aug. 24, 2022: For filing all other written submissions

  • March 15, 2023: For transmittal of commission report to Congressional committees
 

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