U.S. Moves Forward on Assessing Section 301 Duties Against Certain EU Products

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced it has started the process to assess certain European Union (EU) products with additional Section 301 import duties. This is a result of an ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute between the U.S. and EU over aircraft subsidies. The WTO recently determined Airbus Industries was receiving subsidies from member countries of the EU.

Damages from these EU subsidies are estimated at $11 billion dollars annually – though a final amount is still being determined by the WTO and should be announced during Summer 2019.

The USTR has published a preliminary detailed list of EU products it may target in the future with additional Section 301 duties. Products on this preliminary list fall under two categories:

  1. New aircraft, helicopters and parts Under HTS Chapter 88 from France, Germany, Spain or the UK.
  2. A wide range of other products from any EU country including those within HTS chapters covering:
Seafood Dairy Products Citrus Fruit Oils & Olives Sweet Biscuits
Fruit Jams Wines Leather Bags Paper Products Fibers & Yarns
Fabrics Carpets Floor Coverings Apparel Linens
Metals Hand Tools Machinery Motorcycles Clocks

Public comments are being sought by the USTR given the following dates:

  • May 6, 2019 – Due date for requests to appear at the public hearing
  • May 15, 2019 – Public hearing by Section 3-1 Committee in Washington, DC
  • May 28, 2019 – Due date for submission of written comments

Comments can be submitted to the USTR as to whether products should be added or removed, the duty rate for the additional Section 301 duties, the level of trade to be covered by additional duties, and any effect of such duties on U.S. stakeholders. Comments may be provided on-line at http://www.regulations.gov using docket number USTR-2019-0003.

The USTR states it will seek to respond immediately with possible Section 301 duties once the WTO confirms damages and the value of possible U.S. countermeasures.

U.S. importers should review this preliminary list in detail and compare it against previously imported products to determine the potential impact on their current trade program.

Please contact your local Delmar representative or email our U.S. Customs Advisory Services Group for additional information and assistance.

Additional Information:

USTR Tariff Countermeasures Press Release

USTR WTO Subsidies Press Release

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