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U.S. Trade Representative Initiates Section 301 Investigation of European Union Subsidies for Large Civil Aircraft

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated a Section 301 investigation of European Union subsidies to producers of large civil aircraft and has proposed a list of EU products that would be subject to additional duties if the United States receives approval from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to proceed with retaliatory duties later in 2019. The United States and European Union have been involved in WTO dispute settlement proceedings regarding subsidies for large civil aircraft since 2004. Importantly, although the dispute stems from trade practices regarding civil aircraft, the proposed retaliatory duties would cover 326 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings and would affect a wide array of products and industries.

The interagency Section 301 Committee is seeking public comments on the proposed duties and will hold a public hearing. The Committee has set the following deadlines:

  • May 6, 2019: Due date for submission of requests to appear at the public hearing and summary of testimony.

  • May 15, 2019: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

  • May 28, 2019: Due date for submission of written comments, including post-hearing rebuttal comments.

USTR invites comments with respect to any aspect of the proposed action, including the following:

  • The specific products to be subject to increased duties, including whether products listed in the Annex should be retained or removed, or whether products not currently on the list should be added

  • The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty

  • The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties

  • Whether increased duties on particular products might have an adverse effect upon U.S. stakeholders, including small businesses and consumers

Additional duties proposed by USTR target certain products from all EU member states, including various cheeses, seafood, fruit spreads, wine and brandy, textiles and apparel, optical instruments, certain tools, knives, stone and ceramics, glassware, precious metals, and other raw materials, including alloys and basic metal products. A subset of proposed items targeting only imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom include civil helicopters, civil passenger and cargo aircraft, and certain parts thereof.

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About this Author

Douglass Heffner, International trade lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Partner

Douglas J. Heffner litigates customs and international trade matters including antidumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard cases. He represents foreign companies in Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico, as well as domestic producers in industries that range from high-tech to heavy industry, to consumer and industrial goods. He also represents trade associations, government agencies and embassies in a broad range of matters.

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Richard P Ferrin, International Trade Lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Counsel

Richard P. Ferrin advises clients about international trade regulations, particularly antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at both the administrative and appellate levels. He advocates for his client in global “safeguards” proceedings and on customs matters involving classification issues and country-of-origin determinations. Richard has represented foreign manufacturers, foreign exporters, and U.S. importers in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission, and in judicial review of administrative actions at the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and North American Free Trade Agreement binational panels. In addition, Richard advises importers on how to minimize antidumping duty liability.

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Jared A. Angle Drinker Biddle Law Firm
International Trade Analyst

Jared A. Angle brings a wealth of experience in international trade policy and compliance issues, including antidumping/countervailing duty investigations, Department of Commerce verifications, and Section 201, 232 and 301 investigations. He provides deep analyses of trade matters for clients, leveraging his strong background in international affairs research and economics. Jared has worked with government agencies such as the U.S. International Trade Commission, Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative, as well as major chemicals and...

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