USTR announced that it will open an electronic portal for submission of exclusion requests on October 31, 2019 for products covered by Annex A of the August 2019 action, and sets out the specific procedures for submitting requests. The USTR notice provides that responses to individual exclusion requests are due 14 days after USTR posts the request on the online portal. Any replies to responses to an exclusion request are due the later of seven days after the close of the 14-day response period, or seven days after the posting of a response.
The U.S. Trade Representative has determined that the European Union (EU) and certain member States have denied U.S. rights under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and have failed to implement WTO Dispute Settlement Body recommendations concerning certain subsidies to the EU large civil aircraft industry. The U.S. Trade Representative has determined to take action in the form of additional duties on products of certain member States of the EU.
The annual trade value of the list of tariff subheadings subject to additional duties is approximately $7.5 billion, which is consistent with the WTO Arbitrator’s finding on the appropriate level of countermeasures. Annex A identifies the products covered by the action, the rate of duty to be assessed, and the EU member States affected.
By background, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced that the United States could take countermeasures against Europe for approximately U.S. $7.5 billion annually (that is, additional customs duties) in the large civilian aircraft dispute. The USTR then issued a notice listing the tariff classifications subject to additional customs duties being imposed on certain imports from Europe
This notice of technical adjustments makes technical changes in order to implement the intended scope of the action, and to correct other errors. These technical changes are set out in an annex to the notice and are applicable with respect to products that are entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on October 18, 2019.
The final rule:
January 23, 2018: The U.S. president, imposed a safeguard measure on imports of certain solar products pursuant to a Section 201 investigation (that is, Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974).
February 14, 2018: the USTR established procedures for interested persons to request product-specific exclusions from application of the safeguard measure.
June 13, 2019: the USTR published a notice granting certain requests for exclusions and excluding the products at issue from the safeguard measure’s application. In particular, the USTR excluded bifacial solar panels consisting only of bifacial solar cells.
Since publication of the June 2019 notice, the USTR has evaluated this exclusion further and, after consultation with the Commerce and Energy departments, has determined that the exclusion will undermine the objectives of the safeguard measure.
Notice reports that the USTR has modified the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) to withdraw the exclusion of bifacial solar panels from application of the safeguard measure and has modified the HTSUS to make certain technical changes in connection with the safeguard measure.
October 7, 2019, USTR Robert Lighthizer and Ambassador of Japan to the United States Shinsuke J. Sugiyama signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement will eliminate or reduce tariffs on certain agricultural and industrial products to enhance bilateral trade in a robust, stable, and mutually beneficial manner between our nations, which together account for approximately 30 percent of global gross domestic product.
U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement priority areas of digital trade include:
The digital trade agreement with Japan meets the gold standard on digital trade rules set by the USMCA and will expand trade in an area where the United States is a leader.