July 25, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer recently announced plans to levy 25 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports, also known as List 3. The new tariff proposals would add to the $34 billion in tariffs currently in effect, as well as List 2worth $16 billion (if implemented).

This June, SOCMA successfully advocated for the delisting of all proposed specialty and fine chemical intermediates on List 1 of $34 billion worth of Chinese products now subject to a 25 percent tariff. On July 6 the Administration implemented the final List 1 and China has since retaliated in kind. As a result of China’s List 1 retaliation and failure to change its practices, President Trump has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 25 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. As such, USTR has proposed a list Chinese imports to be subject to the 25 percent tariffs (List 3).The impact on the specialty chemical industry from List 3 is massive. List 3 essentially includes all of the individual 8-digit categories in chapters 28, 29, 32 and 38 (including 3808), except various items that were eliminated from List 1.

The schedule for List 3 is as follows:

  • August 13: The due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected
    testimony at the public hearing and for filing pre-hearing submissions is extended from July 27 to August 13.
  • September 6: The due date for submission of written comments is extended from August 17 to September 6.
  • August 20-23: The scheduled start date of the Section 301 hearing (August 20) has not changed. The Section 301 Committee may extend the length of the hearing depending on the number of additional interested persons who request to appear. The Section 301 Committee will convene the 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 am on August 20.
  • September 6: The due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments is extended from August 30 to September 6.

SOCMA successfully advocated for the delisting of chemical intermediates on List 1 and will advocate for the delisting of chemicals proposed in List 3. USTR again prefers not to disproportionately burden U.S. industry and consumers. For example, if there are no reasonable sourcing alternatives to China, USTR takes this into account in publishing the final list and may delist certain goods. For more information, contact Matthew Moedritzer, Manager of Legal and Government Relations, at moedritzerm@socma.com.

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