Will the USTR Officially Delay the Tariff Increase Before January 1st?

MEMORANDUM

 

December 17, 2018

On December 1st, the President stated that there would be a 90-day delay in the increase in duty on List 3 products from China. However, sources advise that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has stated that until CBP receives official notice of the delay from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), it expects to impose the additional 25 percent duty on List 3 (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-06-20/pdf/2018-13248.pdf) products effective January 1, 2019.

Apparently, the USTR does have a notice prepared confirming the 90 day delay, which provides in part:

SUMMARY: In accordance with the direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) has determined to modify the action being taken in this Section 301 investigation by postponing the date on which the rate of the additional duties will increase to 25 percent for the products of China covered by the September 2018 action in this investigation. As set out in this notice, the rate of additional duty for the products covered by the September 2018 action will increase to 25 percent on
March 2, 2019.

DATES: On March 2, 2019 at 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time, the rate of additional duty will increase to 25 percent with respect to products covered by the September 2018 action.

However, although the draft is available on the USTR’s website, it does not appear on the roster of notices scheduled for publication in Monday’s Federal Register. The notice may still be added to Monday’s issue, or it will be included in a later one – hopefully before January 1st.

In any case, we will continue to monitor its status and keep you advised.

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