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U.S. Launches Review Of Section 301 Investigation Into China, Tariffs May Be Lifted


The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced on the 3rd May that the two actions to impose tariffs on Chinese goods exported to the United States based on the results of the so-called "301 investigation" four years ago will end on July 6 and August 23 this year respectively. With immediate effect, the office will initiate a statutory review process for the relevant actions.

The U.S. Trade Representative's officer said in a statement on the same day that it would inform representatives of U.S. domestic industries that benefit from additional tariffs on China that the tariffs may be lifted. Industry representatives have until July 5 and August 22 to apply to the office to maintain the tariffs. The office will review the relevant tariffs on the basis of the application, and these tariffs will be maintained during the review period.

U.S. Trade Representative Dai Qi said at the event on the 2nd that the U.S. government will take all policy measures to curb price surges, suggesting that reducing tariffs on Chinese goods exported to the United States will be considered.

The so-called "301 investigation" originates from Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974. The clause authorizes the US Trade Representative to launch an investigation into other countries' "unreasonable or unjust trade practices" and, after the investigation, recommends that the US president impose unilateral sanctions. This investigation was initiated, investigated, adjudicated and implemented by the United States itself, and it had a strong unilateralism. According to the so-called "301 investigation", the United States has imposed 25% tariffs on goods imported from China in two batches since July and August 2018.

The U.S. imposition of tariffs on China has been strongly opposed by the U.S. business community and consumers. Due to the sharp increase in inflationary pressures, there has been a resurgence of calls in the United States to reduce or exempt additional tariffs on China recently. Dalip Singh, deputy assistant to the US president for national security affairs, said recently that some of the tariffs imposed by the US on China "lack a strategic purpose." The federal government could lower tariffs on Chinese goods such as bicycles and clothing to help curb price increases.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said recently that the U.S. government is carefully studying its trade strategy with China, and that it is worth consideringto cancel the additional tariffs on Chinese goods exported to the U.S.

The spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce previously stated that the unilateral tariff increase by the United States is not conducive to China, the United States, and the world. In the current situation where inflation continues to rise and the global economic recovery faces challenges, it is hoped that the U.S. side will proceed from the fundamental interests of consumers and producers in China and the U.S., cancel all additional tariffs on China as soon as possible, and push bilateral economic and trade relations back to the normal track as soon as possible.

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