USTR Hearings on Proposed $16B in Tariffs Begin Days After Trump’s $500B Threat

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After last week’s hearings on the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation of automobile and automotive part imports, this week the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will holding public hearings on the proposed list of items to be subjected to tariffs pursuant to Section 301.

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The USTR hearing begin Tuesday, July 24, at 9:00 a.m. ET. The hearings will cover the $16 billion in proposed tariffs, the second tranche of the previously announced $50 billion in tariffs.

The first tranche of the tariff package, amounting to $34 billion, went into effect July 6. China responded in kind with $34 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, sparking harsh words from the U.S. and threats of more tariffs.

Trade tensions have only escalated in the weeks since the implementation of the $34-billion tranche.

“As a result of China’s retaliation and failure to change its practices, the President has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports,” UTSR Robert Lighthizer said in a prepared statement earlier this month. “This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China’s harmful industrial policies. USTR will proceed with a transparent and comprehensive public notice and comment process prior to the imposition of final tariffs, as we have for previous tariffs.”

President Trump ramped up the stakes even further this past week, as he said in an interview with CNBC that he would be willing to impose $500 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods — or, essentially, tariffs on all Chinese imports.

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The schedule for the Tuesday hearing, including a list of individuals giving testimony, can be found here.

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