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The Court of International Trade (CIT) has rendered a decision in the case involving Rounds 3 and 4 of the Section 301 tariffs on China origin goods. The CIT sustained the imposition of the tariffs therefore they will remain in effect pending a possible appeal by the Plaintiffs. In the decision, the CIT ruled that the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) had complied with the remand order and supplied the information necessary to support the imposition of the 301 tariffs.

The legality of the first two rounds of the 301 tariffs was never questioned but the decision to impose the third round (and thus the fourth round) was contested. Plaintiffs in the case argued that in implementing the additional rounds the USTR had exceeded their authority and violated the Trade Act of 1974 and the Administrative Procedures Act. In April of 2022, the CIT ruled that the USTR had the statutory authority to implement the additional rounds but held that they had failed to adequately explain the reasons for their action. The Court remanded the USTR’s decisions to implement the tariffs indicating that the USTR had, among other things, not adequately responded to comments which had been submitted by the public prior to the implementation. Thus the Court stated that these rounds “require reconsideration or further explanation regarding the USTR’s rationale for imposing the tariffs.”

Imported goods falling under Rounds 1,2 & 3 of the tariffs carry an additional duty of 25% while those under Round 4 are assessed an additional 7.5%. In addition to this case the tariffs have raised objections from many industry groups and some members of Congress. Instituted during the Trump administration the tariffs have remained a cornerstone of the Biden administration’s trade policy with China. To date no substantive action has been proposed to eliminate the tariffs though a few hundred products are still under exclusions granted in previous years. Currently though no process to apply for new exclusions or to reinstate expired exclusions is available.

The Plaintiffs’ attorneys will have to review the decision and determine if they will appeal the case to the Court of Appeals. The decision of the CIT in this case can be viewed online here.

 

Best Regards,

Sam McClure, LCB

Director of Compliance & Customs Services

 

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Meet one of CVI’s Customs Brokerage & Compliance experts, Sam McClure:

Sam serves as Director, Compliance and Customs Services for CVI. He serves as CVI’s corporate compliance officer and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our Customs related services, including growth.

Sam started his career in 1977 with Waters Shipping Company in Charlotte, NC. He began as a document runner, soon becoming a leader in operations and customer service for the branch. Sam, along with Linda Masten, founded Central Carolina Shipping Inc. in 1983 as an independent Customs Brokerage firm where he served as Vice President for 26 years. Sam and Linda grew Central Carolina into a successful and highly respected member of the Carolinas trade community. When Charlotte opened their local chapter of the IFFCBA Sam was part of the organizing group and he headed the Customs committee for several years. Sam obtained his Customs Brokers License in 1984 and remained with Central Carolina until the company was acquired by CVI in 2009.

At CVI, Sam has held several positions in both the operations and sales departments. As an expert in U.S. Customs regulations, Sam is often called upon on to provide guidance to importers on Customs compliance issues. He makes regular presentations on matters related to importation and broader regulatory compliance.

– Sam McClure, LCB, Director of Compliance & Customs Services, CVI
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